Ichneumon stramentor

Ichneumon stramentor

Out of all the insects to attempt to photograph I find wasps can be one of the trickiest of challenges as they hardly ever keep still. This is an ichneumon wasp, quite a large species and colourful with its bright yellow markings. There are many similar species and identifying them can be a challenge in itself. There are believed to be over 3,000 species in Britain alone. But thanks to my blogger friend Ark I managed to positively identify it.I spotted this one yesterday afternoon as it appeared quite interested in my back fence, poking its head in nooks and crannies. I did not think I would get any shots in, it was so busy, until it stopped for a brief moment to have a little spruce up.

Ichneumon stramentor

Despite its fearsome looks it does not sting. The bright yellow spot on the tip of the abdomen and the pale yellow bands on the antennae define it as a female as these are absent in the male. The larvae are parasites of moth larvae, notably the Large Yellow Underwing and Setaceous Hebrew Character. Seen April to July, and found in meadows, hedgerows, woodland margins and gardens.

Ichneumon stramentor female, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. April 2017.

15 thoughts on “Ichneumon stramentor

  1. Better than I have managed with this particular species. Good ones , Pete.
    They come visit on warm days by the back tap – I think they paddle in the wet mud where the water runs off – but by the time I have fetched the camera …. gone.
    I have a few nice shots of a full-on yellow Ichnuemon, which visited once only. ( that I’m aware of) I’ll post them for you to see if I can dig them out my files.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the info, Ark. It looks like one several similar Ichneumon species from some other shots I have of this wasp, but they are all so similar. I could have done with capturing it in a jar and studying it with a lens for sure. These come around again, so I may do just that.


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