The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Ichneumonid wasps

I don’t know what it is with me and wasps in stumps lately: I’ve never noticed them in the past, and now I’m finding all kinds of them.  This gorgeous, slender female Ichneumonid wasp woke quickly once I disturbed her.  Her long, banded antennae quivered non-stop as they were bombarded with chemical and tactile signals from the fresh air.  

She climbed to the edge of the piece of log where once she slept and flexed her wings…once…twice…

and then she flew off in a startlingly graceful arc to a moss-covered stump several feet away.  The one thing these images do not capture (much to my great dismay) is the gorgeous deep midnight blue colour she sported over her entire body.  It gleamed with hints of rainbow hues in the sunlight.  I wish I could have shared it with you.

In the same log, her cousin continued to doze.  Antennae ramrod-straight, body motionless, her lovely burnt-orange body was accented by a burgundy thorax and pale yellowish spot at the point where her iridescent wings met.

Until this year, I really had no idea that tiny, dark crevices in dead wood were such great places to find beautiful wasps.  A wonderful discovery, if you ask me!

4 responses to “Ichneumonid wasps

  1. jason April 13, 2010 at 4:20 AM

    Great shots, C! They’re such fascinating critters. So diverse and numerous.

  2. peteryeeles April 13, 2010 at 4:46 AM

    What camera do you use, Geek? I remember you posting it somewhere, but can’t find it. Great results from what I seem to remember as a compact digital.

    I wonder what the function of the light patches on the antennae is…

    • TGIQ April 13, 2010 at 6:57 AM

      I’ve got a Canon PowershotSX10IS, a Raynox DCR-250 clip-on macro lens, ambient lighting only and a helluvalotta patience 😛 I appreciate the kind words about the photos, Peter. I have to admit, though, the more pictures I take, the more I wish I had the right equipment for the job.

      I’m not sure about the light patches, to be honest, but they’re very common throughout the Ichneumonids.

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