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Ichneumon Wasp


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Female wasp laying her eggs. Ichneumonidae is a family within the insect order Hymenoptera. They have an extreme lengthening and curving of the abdomen. There are over 60,000 species worldwide. Ichneumons have a wasp waist. The apparently fearsome-looking stinger at the end of the female wasp's abdomen is actually an ovipositor sheath, and not a stinger. These insects are harmless to humans. The adults feed on nectar from flowers and aphid honeydew. They can not sting, but will use the ovipositor sheath to defend themselves. Some species of ichneumon wasps lay their eggs in the ground, but most inject them directly into a host's body, typically into a larva or pupa. The picture of this small Ichneumon Wasp taken at Sewell, Bedfordshire on 10th September 2011.

12th Sep 2011 by Diane Earl

Biology, Environmental Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Geocode: Sewell

insect wasp

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