Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Explanation of Names
A name from Greek mythology--Ophion
(Ὀφίων), was the first of the Titan gods to rule the world (Encyclopedia of Life
lists 11 North American species.
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."
Forest canopies and shrubby fields
Adults are seen in late spring to late summer (May-August)
Most all Ophion larva are parasites of caterpillars.
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
can be superficially similar.
Note the difference in wing venation:
"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)
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