What is a one-inch-long, wasp-looking insect that has a stinger about four inches long?

Gardens & Landscapes June 29, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF
A wasp-looking insect that looks like it has a stinger about four inches long is actually a beneficial, parasitic wasp called an ichneumon wasp. Its formidable-looking “stinger” is really an ovipositor--an egg-laying appendage. Female ichneumons can detect the presence of borer larvae in a deciduous tree under the bark. Incredibly, they drill through the tree bark with their ovipositor and lay eggs inside the body of the borer larva. Immature ichneumon larvae hatch and develop inside their hosts, slowly parasitizing them. Ichneumons are no threat to people or pets. For more information on these and other wasps, see fact sheet Beneficial Insects and Other Arthropods.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.