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Yellow-orange-legged black-brown Ichneumon Wasp with about 6 caramel rings on stout abdomen. - female

Yellow-orange-legged black-brown Ichneumon Wasp with about 6 caramel rings on stout abdomen. - Female
Torrance, Los Angeles County, California, USA
July 14, 2011
Size: ~ 7 mm
Found around noon on a warm sunny day in my car while at a traffic light.

Couldn't find any match on BugGuide.
Shows some resemblance to some Metopiinae ...

Moved from ID Request.

Fantastic, Bob !
Thanks a lot for getting it to tribal level !

The Atrophini is a pretty well-populated tribe, with more than 200 species in 14 genera, of which at least 143 species in genus Lissonota.

And for me, at least, the tribe is also a taxonomic nightmare. There is a revision of the Neartic species, but trying to use it to identify specimens is a very frustrating thing.

I understand, Bob.
It seems that the overall difficult Ichneumonoidea are being studied in more detail these days, and that there are still a lot of species to be described; and hence their taxonomy being in flux.

Would that revision be one of the Townes volumes, Bob ?
If it not much trouble, would you have the reference for it ?

Reference added to info page for Atrophini. Henry Townes seems to have thought it important to construct keys that were "natural" rather than artificial. In my opinion, a key is a key, is a key, and if using things like color to make it easy to identify the distinctively colored species, but would involve not having them key out in correspondence with their supposed positions relative to other species in the group, then forget about the relationships and use the colors or other obvious characters. To me, the concept of a "natural" key seems pointless.

I agree, Bob.
A key is an "artificial" man-made tool to help determine which taxon is being studied.
Trying to "order" taxa in a more phylogenetic, or other bio-systematic, way tends to make life harder for the taxonomist using the key.
The good key is a key that works and is easy to use.

Thanks for adding the reference !

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