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Monday, July 05, 2010


From the Bug Club list: Found in my flat in Crystal Palace, SE19


stormwalkernz said...

It is one of the parasitic species of Wasp for sure but just which ione Im not sure due to a cotton wooly head feeling due to Pluracy.
hope that helps.


Syd said...

Have not got a clue what it is, but I had a couple of those (or something that looked identical) visit me while camping in Wiltshire during August 2008.

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

This is a female Ichneumon wasp, a parasitoid which breeds by laying an egg onto or into another insect where the larva develops at the expense of the host insect, eventually killing it (effectively a similar life cycle to the science fiction Aliens parasitoids).

These wasps act as an important limit on the numbers of all manner of common herbivorous insects; it is even possible now to buy artificially farmed parasitoid wasps as an eco-friendly pest control system. This is especially common as a way of controlling glasshouse whiteflies, since it works better than pesticides without any risk of contaminating the crop.

This one may be of the family Braconidae, though I'm having extreme difficulty in locating a good key to these wasps.

blueguitar said...

Dr Holdsworth is right to emphasise the difficulty of determining Ichneumon wasps from a photograph, even to family level. This, though, seems to be one of the family Gasteruptiidae, based on the swollen tibiae. It is a female, and looks superficially like a good match for Gasteruption jaculator. The distribution map on the National Biodiversity Network Gateway shows several records of this species for the London area.

The Hymenopteran Recorder for London, the redoubtable Ray Uffen, is the man to contact. He will be able to name the beast, if anyone can! (Find the London Natural History Society website, and click on 'Recording', then 'List of Recorders'.)

stormwalkernz said...

Dr Dan you are so darn right god I hate that name Ichneumon can never remember how to spell the darn thing.