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Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Megarhyssa macrurus


This is a Giant Ichneumon Wasp. She's laying her eggs. These wasp have one of the most complicated and specialized egg laying processes of any arthropod. This first step is to locate a Pigeon Tremex wasp larvae which are found deep inside tree trunks. Using their antennae to detect a fungus associated with the larvae. Wasp then move on to step two, getting to the larvae to lay their eggs. This is were the wasp's 3 inch long specially designed ovipositors (wire like thing in picture) come in. Ovipositors have an ability to secrete a wood dissolving chemical which they use to mine their way to the Pigeon Tremex larvae so they can lay their eggs on it. After the eggs hatch, they feed on the Pigeon Tremex larvae.


Deciduous forest

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ShirleyOliver 9 years ago

I have one of these "captive" right now. She flew into my store and was trying to get out of a pane of glass. Her body is 1 1/2" but her "tail" is over 4" long. What a frighteningly beautiful creature !!!

lhankin 9 years ago

Your photo will be highlighted on Sunday, August 10 as the Great Nature Project Pic of the Day. Afterwards, you’ll be able to see your photo for about a month in the Pic of the Day Collection ( Thanks again for contributing to The Great Nature Project!

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Great series and video LuckyLogan! Could you please add some description and notes about habitat? Thanks in advance!

beaker98 9 years ago

Awesome video Logan! A perfect add to your spotting. Glad you posted it!

LuckyLogan 9 years ago

video added

LuckyLogan 9 years ago

I'll let you know when I add the video :)

beaker98 9 years ago

Would love to see that!

LuckyLogan 9 years ago

Thanks beaker, there may or may not be a video coming too :)

beaker98 9 years ago

Wow Logan! It's been a couple of years since I've seen one of these. Excellent photos and wonderful spotting.

LuckyLogan 9 years ago

Thanks Stephanie!

Stephanie R.
Stephanie R. 9 years ago

Great photos Logan!

Spotted by

Iowa, USA

Spotted on Jun 18, 2014
Submitted on Jun 18, 2014

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