Insect of the week – number 88


Female of Megischus bicolor sickmanni


2 Responses to “Insect of the week – number 88”

  1. Is their resemblance to rhyssine ichneumonids convergent? Do they drill into wood to reach larvae in the same way, as shown in the wonderful old film, “The Alder Woodwasp and its Insect Enemies?”
    http://www.wildfilmhistory.org/film/261/clip/877/Insect+parasites+of+the+alder+woodwasp.html

  2. Andrew Ernst says:

    Many wasps that are parasitic on wood boring hosts oviposit in the same way. They often use an extremely long ovipositor, and have a very flexible “petiolate” abdomen with which to orient it. The long ovipositor is often guided between the hind coxa (the bases of the hind legs) while it drills into the wood. A good picture of a stephanid with it’s ovipositor deep in some wood can be found on the wikipedia page for Stephanidae:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephanidae

    Rhyssine ichneumonids have some of the longest of these types of ovipositors. Here is a good site that has images and a video of Megarhyssa ovipositing:

    http://www.cirrusimage.com/hymenoptera_ichneumon_megarhyssa_fem.htm

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