Thursday, 15 July 2010

WOW! What a bug!!!

I just had to share my photos of this amazing insect with you all.
It's an Ichneumon also known as a Sabre Wasp: to be specific this is Rhyssa persuasoria which translated from Latin means persuasive burglar!
Despite its fearsome appearance, this is a harmless beast to humans. That long appendage is an ovipositor (egg-laying tube) which is used to bore into wood and deposit an egg onto a horntail larvae. the horntail is another scary-looking but harmless insect that is found in pine forests around Knapdale.

The female ichneumon looks for hosts, which live within fallen timber. It isn't fully understood how she finds them: she may detect them through the smell of their droppings, or by sensing their vibrations within the wood. However she does it, the accuracy with which she locates them is remarkable. When she finds the right spot, she drives her slender ovipositor into the wood (which can be inches thick) by rotating the two halves backwards and forwards very rapidly. She lays one egg next to or on the host larvae. 

She's what I call one cool bug!!

2 comments:

corinne said...

Fantastic!

Chris Sperring said...

Hi Jen. Great find and brill pictures