Wednesday, 13 July 2016

30 Days Wild day 21- Ichneumon wasp

It's the time of year that open doors and windows mean we seem to be constantly rescuing insects from the house. Hoverflies and bumblebees are the most common, but the 21st saw a slightly more unusual insect needing rescuing.

I could see from the narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen that it was one of the Apocrita (a taxa within the Hymenoptera). My guess was some sort of parasitic wasp, but trying to identify it properly was a challenge. Insect taxonomy is an impenetrable tangle, not least because of the sheer number of species there are. Using a combination of books and several websites, I decided that it was probably an ichneumon wasp- a family of parasitic wasps, many of which attack caterpillars. But I couldn't get a firm identification to the species level- there are over 3,000 species in the UK alone! If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

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