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Genus Ophion - Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasps

Ichnumon - Ophion Ophion sp.? - Ophion - female Wasp - Ophion - female Enicospilus? - Ophion - male Wasp     - Ophion Ichneumon Wasp sp. - Ophion - female Unknown wasp - Ophion Ophion
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon ("Parasitica" (parasitic Apocrita))
Superfamily Ichneumonoidea (Braconids and Ichneumons)
Family Ichneumonidae (Ichneumon Wasps)
Subfamily Ophioninae
Genus Ophion (Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasps)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Ophion Fabricius, 1798
Explanation of Names
A name from Greek mythology--Ophion (Ὀφίων), was the first of the Titan gods to rule the world (Encyclopedia of Life).
Nearctica (1) lists 11 North American species.
10-19 mm
From "The Audubon Society Field Guide to N. American Insects & Spiders"(2):
"Abdomen long, compressed on the sides. Body pale yellow to reddish brown. Antennae and legs long, pale. Ovipositor of female barely visible at tip of abdomen. Wings clear."
Throughout the U.S.
Forest canopies and shrubby fields
Adults are seen in late spring to late summer (May-August)[source?]. BG records show adults in all months of the year in southern states and California.
Most all Ophion larva are parasites of caterpillars.
Life Cycle
Adult Ophion species will hunt for their host caterpillar. Usually one egg is laid per host. Caterpillar usually dies during pupal stage though wasp larva remains to pupate itself.
The Ophion species are one of the most common Ichneumon wasps in the U.S.
They are often attracted to artificial lights
See Also
Enicospilus can be superficially similar.
Note the difference in wing venation:

Print References
"The Audubon Society Field Guide to N. American Insects & Spiders", page 810, plate 445(2)
"A Field Guide to the Insects of America North of Mexico", page 322 describes Ichneumons, with an illustration of an Ophion sp. on 323 (3)
Internet References
Texas A&M University - talks about Ichneumons in general with details on the Ophion species
Insects of Cedar Creek - has info on Ichneumons with a photo of an Ophion species
Works Cited
1.Nearctica: Nomina Insecta Nearctica
2.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
3.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.