Orchid Dupe Wasp 


Family Ichneumonidae - Ichneumon Wasps

Order Hymenoptera  

This page contains pictures and information about Ichneumon Wasps in family Ichneumonidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Ichneumon Wasps and Braconid Wasps may look very similar. One way to distinguish them is that the Ichneumon Wasps 2nd recurrent vein of the fore wing is present.
Ichneumonidae is the largest wasp family. Wasps in this family are from small to medium in size. They have long and thin body with narrow waist like all other wasps. Adults are usually active in day time and  feed on flowers. Some species are brightly colourful. 
The larvae are either parasitic or hyperparasitic (living parasitically upon a parasite). Most moth caterpillars and pupas are targeted host. Some species attacked other insects and spiders. The female wasp usually locates the food plants of the host then searches with her antennae for a suitable host. The female usually has the long ovipositor which is used to insert eggs into the host body. Some species the ovipositor is longer than the female's body. The length of the ovipositor allows the female to inject her eggs into hidden hosts such as leaf-rolling or stem-boring caterpillars
Some species lay eggs externally and attack the host from outside. The host will usually survive when the larvae is still living. Until the larvae fully grown, the larvae either pupates inside the dead host or form a cocoon outside.
The two families Braconidae and Ichneumonidae are very close related and some species look similar. They can be distinguished by the forewing venation. In the Ichneumons there is an extra vein creating a cell which can not be found on Braconids. 

Subfamily Pimplinae - Banded-abdomen Ichneumon Wasps
Ichneumon Wasps in Pimplinae are usually coloured with red, yellow or black colours. They are from small to very large in size. Pimplines attack a wide range of insect larvae and pupae, and some attacks spider egg sacs. Prior to laying eggs, the female wasps often paralyse or kill their host by injecting venom with the ovipositor.
Subfamily Tryphoninae - Reddish-orange Ichneumon Wasps
Ichneumon Wasps in Tryphoninae are from small to large in size. Females are with ovipositor relatively short, not projecting beyond apex of abdomen. Their young are external parasites of sawfly larvae and moth caterpillars.
Subfamily Phygadeuontinae - Banded Ichneumon Wasps
Phygadeuontinae is the largest subfamily in Ichneumon Wasps. Most wasps are small and a few are medium size. Most species look very similar as many of them are black in colour with white markings. Antenna are often with white band and the ovipositor is relatively long. Their young are external parasites of pupae of moths and other insects, some are parasites of spider egg-sac. Males are usually found searching, either walking or dance-flying over low bushes. Females are found searching for hosts on ground or on plants.
Subfamily Inchneumoninae - Orange Ichneumon Wasps
Inchneumoninae is the second largest subfamily in Ichneumon Wasps. Ichneumon Wasps in subfamily Inchneumoninae usually found searching for caterpillar or pupa on foot on vegetation or soil. In some species female and male look quite different.
Subfamily Banchinae - Mottled Ichneumon Wasps
Their larvae are internal parasitic of caterpillars and pupas of targeted host, usually Moths or Butterflies.
Subfamily Ophioninae
Ichneumon Wasps in Ophioninae are from small to large in size. They are usually brownish orange in colour, seldom in black. Females are with ovipositor relatively short, not projecting beyond apex of abdomen. Most of them have large ocelli. They have very long antenna usually more than 55 antennal segments. Their legs are long and slender with tibial spurs very long. Forewings are large and often with glabrous area.
Subfamily Anomaloninae
Anomalonine wasps are from small to very large in size. They are usually with black and red colours. Females are with ovipositor relatively short. They are parasites of tenebrionid beetle larvae or external parasites of moth caterpillars.
Subfamily Diplazontinae
The Hover Fly Larvae Parasite Wasp is shiny black in colour with brown legs and brown abdomen. There is the white segment on their hind legs. This species is endoparasites of Hover Fly larvae.
Subfamily Metopiinae
Ichneumon Wasps in this subfamily are endoparasites of larvae of Lepidoptera. Some are brightly coloured. Some of them are apparently mimic Eumeninae Wasps.

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 943.
2. An introduction to the Ichneumonidae of Australia - Gauld, I.D. 1984, British Museum.
3. Parasitoids: Natural enemies of helicoverpa - Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland, 2005. 
4. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
5. Wasps - family Ichneumonidae - lifeunseen.com, by Nick Monaghan.
6. What wasp is that? - An interactive identification guide to the Australasian families of Hymenoptera, 2007.
7. Family ICHNEUMONIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Faunal Directory. 

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Up ] Pimplinae ] Tryphoninae ] Phygadeuontinae ] Inchneumoninae ] Banchinae ] Ophioninae ] Anomaloninae ] Diplazontinae ] Metopiinae ]

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Last updated: January 30, 2013.