Thursday, June 20, 2013

This mystery bug is revealed

Leave it to Lois to track down somebody to identify the bug I saw in her garden.  It is a male Ichneumon Wasp - Megarhyssa atrata.  Try saying that three times real fast.  I couldn't even say it once.

She even provided some interesting factoids about them.

The females have really long ovipositors that they use to insert eggs into grubs in decaying wood.
They check out the holes in dead trees and listen for chewing grubs. If they hear one, they insert their ovipositors into the hole until they spear their quarry.
The grub is then the host food for the larva when it hatches.
Yikes!  Not exactly the perfect dinner guest to invite over, huh! 

And here I just thought it was some big creepy bug.  I had no idea it was as interesting as all that.  I bet that the long fancy Latin name for them just means big creepy bug.

Long Live the Queen of Bugs


  1. I just got the heebie jeebies!

  2. Isn't it amazing --- give us a camera and a bug to photograph, and the bug becomes absolutely fascinating. Without the camera, we would either stomp on the bug or whack it with something big enough to kill it. lol. (At least that's what I would do before I got into photography!) You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  3. Creephyssa Bugtrata there that is a little more official looking. They certainly are creepy and their lifestyle is creepy ... I love bugs in general, but this one gives me the shivers.

    Good on your friend to look up all that information for you(us). She is a devoted naturalist and artist, as I recall her gardens are spectacular. Now I can get on with my day, knowing that the Creephyssa Bugtratta lives by you and not me (I am sincerely hoping). I have never seen or heard of one before so I will take that as meaning I am safe :) Thanks for the info Queen of Enlightenment ... you made my day!

    Andrea @ From The Sol