Wednesday, 15 June 2011

ID help please

First of I know the pictures are not great; low light, windy day, hand held camera all my excuses for poor shots; however ID and behaviour help required please!
I was watching what I assumed was an Ichyneumans Wasp laying eggs in the tissue of a curled up nettle leaf, however when consulting the trusty Collins guide at home I read that Ichyneumons generally lay eggs in caterpillars. Further research suggested that it might be a species of Sawfly since they lay eggs in plant tissue and the larvae are vegetarian, also no obvious waist between the thorax and abdomen.
Then again if it is an Ichyneumons species it could be probing beyond the nettle in to whatever creature had caused the nettle leaf to curl.
Any ideas on ID and beahiour?
Almost forgot, the pictures were taken at St Ives.


Mike Bloomfield said...

It is a giant ichneumon (rhyssa persuasoria). This is a female which can have an ovipositor of up to 40mm in length. More info. on net by searching under the latin name.

Ian H. said...

Thanks Mike, I knew somebody out there would know the answer. What about the behaviour, is it possible that the ovipositer was being pushed beyond the leaf into whatever had caused the leaf to curl in the first place?

Mike Bloomfield said...

Pass on that one Ian!