Orchid Dupe Wasp 


Subfamily Ophioninae - Slender Ichneumon Wasps

Order Hymenoptera, Family Ichneumonidae  

This page contains pictures and information about Slender Ichneumon Wasps in subfamily Ophioninae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
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. 
Males could be seen in flight during the days. Females are active at night searching caterpillars for their young. Their young are external parasites of sawfly larvae and moth caterpillars. They do not seem to be very host specific but niche specific. 
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Ichneumon Wasps in subfamily Ophioninae can be distinguished with the followings characteristic;
    - usually brownish orange in colour,
    - forewing with areolet absent, very distinctive forewing vein pattern.  
    - ovipositor short and never projected beyond abdomen,
    - ocelli usually large, 

Black-tailed Slender Ichneumon Wasp
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Enicospilus sp., body length 20mm
We saw this Ichneumon Wasp once in Karawatha Forest. We recognised the wasp by the dot pattern at the middle of the forewing. The wasp has the typical wing vein pattern of subfamily Ophioninae. Please check this page for more information.
Brown Orange Slender Ichneumon Wasp
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Enicospilus sp., body length 20mm
We recognised the wasp by the dot pattern at the middle of the forewing. Please check this page for more information.
Black-abdomen Slender Ichneumon Wasp
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Dicamptus sp., body length 20mm
Photo was taken in Botanic Garden on Feb 2010. The wasp was resting under leaf, The larvae  in this subfamily are internal parasitic on larvae of moths and butterflies. Adults are active at night. Please check this page for more information.
Pale-thorax Slender Ichneumon Wasp
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Leptophion sp., body length 20mm
Pictures taken when the wasp resting on a Banksia tree leaf in Alexandra Hill during late summer. The wasp is Reddish orange in colour, female will give a painful sting. Their hosts are those large size caterpillars. More information and pictures can be found in this page.
Pale Orange Slender Ichneumon Wasp
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Ophion or Xylophion sp., body length 20mm
From reference information this wasp could be the parasites of caterpillars in Anthelidae and Noctuidae. Please check this page for more information.

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, p286.
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. 

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Last updated: September 16, 2012.