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Photo#45500
Giant Ichneumon - Megarhyssa atrata - female

Giant Ichneumon - Megarhyssa atrata - Female
4 miles east of Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York, USA
June 8, 2005
After I looked at this photo on my computer I wondered what the second black "hair" is that seems to be coming from the same hole where this wasp has her ovipositor. I then found in "Intro to the Study of Insects" (Borror et. al.) that sometimes female ichneumons are unable to free themselves after ovipositing, or get eaten in the process of ovipositing. So the ovipositor stays in the hole while the rest of the wasp ends up elsewhere.

The day after I took this photo, I went back to the stump. Sure enough, there were quite a few waspless-ovipositors sticking out of this tree stump (which by the way was very popular among at least two species of ichneumons the week I took this photo). I hadn't noticed waspless-ovipositors at all on my first day of observing the wasps.

Great find
Great find, a very cool image!

--Stephen

Stephen Cresswell
Buckhannon, WV
www.stephencresswell.com

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