Creepy Crawlies and Flying Things*

I was on the phone the other night when this giant wasp like creature came flying toward me. This bitch was BIG with an even bigger stinger and as I backed away she just kept coming at me. I ran into the bathroom screaming like a girl and shut the door hoping she couldn’t bore through it with that jack-hammer hanging off her abdomen.

A few minutes later I snuck out and found she’d landed on a window. I grabbed the closest thing I could find that would reach her, the chuckit, and smacked her lightly (I did want to get a picture after all) and she fell to the floor. I went to scoop her up and she started crawling up the speaker so I hit her again. I know…brutal…but I’m telling you…this is one scary insect.

I scooped up the corpse, dropped it on the table outside and after grabbing my camera returned to find her gone. This bug is not only scary and ugly but tough too! Finding her on the chair I bludgeoned her once more and waited to see if she moved. She didn’t. I put her back on the table and took this picture.

Mangled Ichneumon Wasp

I didn’t think to put anything in the picture to add perspective but I did measure her. Body – 1.25 inches, long frightening stinger thing – 1.5 inches, antennae – half an inch. Yep, more than three inches long and when flying toward your face nothing short of Mothra.

Of course now that I had a picture it was time to find out just what this thing is/was. It turns out this is an Ichneumon Wasp and that long frightening stinger thing isn’t a stinger at all. It’s an ovipositor and she uses it to deposit her eggs in larvae presently eating their way through our trees, or more likely the downed trees in the forest. Yikes!

So, it turns out I didn’t have to go running into the bathroom because this particular wasp is absolutely no threat to me. But this guy is lucky to be alive.

*This post is dedicated to my buddy Doug over at Gossamer Tapestry who could have stopped me from looking like such a sissy…but probably wouldn’t have. ; )

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15 responses to “Creepy Crawlies and Flying Things*

  1. Wow, nice Ichnuemon. What did you use as a reference to make the call? I use BugGuide.net for a lot of ID work where I don’t have a reference book. I’ve gotten several folks addicted to the site.

    Your second photo is one of my favorite groups of beetles- the longhorns or Cerambycidae. Yours is a flower longhorn (subfamily Lepturinae). It’s in the genus Centrodera, probably C. spurca, the Douglas fir borer. As you can see from the comments, the features that separate this species from several close relatives are minute, so that’s the best I’ll be able to do on making the call.

    >This post is dedicated to my buddy Doug over at Gossamer Tapestry who could have stopped me from looking like such a sissy…

    Why thanks, I’m touched. Though I don’t think that anyone could stop you from…oh, nevermind.

  2. Well, I am completely freaked out by any flying/creepy crawly thing. I would have ran like a sissy too.

  3. i don’t carewhat DougT says, i think running screaming like a girl is sometimes the exact right thing to do when encountering bugs, especially the ones with nasty big pointed teeth.

  4. What is this, Bug Frenzy in the PNW? I feel your pain. I’ve been battling bees here.

    But dude … I can not believe you killed that bitch with a Chuck-It. I’m going to start to keeping mine in the house instead of the garage. You go. Kick ass.

  5. I recently got like – 10 fantastic shots of a dragonfly sunning itself on a poppie head. It just sat there for about 10 minutes while I took pictures. I’m creeped out by bugs big time – but doesn’t stop me from shooting pics – forces me to get closer to them & get over some of the creepy-crawlies I feel =)

  6. Dang next should knock first. Glad you did not get stung.

  7. Doug – I started with insectidentification.org and then davesgarden.com. I did find BugGuide but not until after I figured it all out.

    And you’re right…I’m a big sissy but a proud one!

    Sage & Spo – Thanks…there’s plenty of room in the bathroom for all of us…and a jacuzzi tub!

    MC – Actually, the chuckit was in the garage but I couldn’t find a flyswatter and I needed length. Chuckit should let me do a testimonial on their website.

    Lazy – I’ll stick to my little 3+ inchers thanks.

    Kory – I love bugs as long as they’re not on me and dragonflies are gorgeous. I wish we had more of them like I was used to back home.

    PB – Me too…glad it wasn’t a stinger after all.

  8. >Sage & Spo – Thanks…there’s plenty of room in the bathroom for all of us…and a jacuzzi tub!

    If screaming like a girl is what it takes to get into the jacuzzi with all you hot menz, then EEEEEEK!!!!

  9. Thats the most disgusting thing I’ve seen in a long time. I’d have run screaming like a girl too. I’m not above that.

  10. I so hate creepy crawlies…LOL! I’m baaaaaaack! How the heck are you?

  11. Should I call you “Killer” now?

    Poor bug didn’t even have a chance.

  12. I found one of these in my basement and just like u,I took off running cause I thought it would sting me. It looks like an alien or something

  13. While outside having a cigarette today (save your lecture), a flying object caught my eye. I dismissed this object to be a normal bee and chose to use the “freeze and it won’t bother you” method. The thing flew by my face and I could see that this was anything but a normal bee. I unfroze, looked to my left, and this thing came back at me! I dropped my smoke stick, stood up, and dodged a couple more dive bombs. I had to hold my breath and wait while the thing bounced off our front door a few times until I could make my escape inside. Once I got in, my fiance thought I was absolutely losing it so I owe you a HUGE thank you for posting this blog with a picture so I could prove I am not crazy. After researching them a bit, I realize they don’t sting but they are still scary. 🙂

  14. I have baby chickens in a parceled off “room” in the henhouse, and keep their light on in there…. Its covered by a screen to keep the big hens out… Tonight when I checked on them there was a big female Ichenumen wasp on the screen. My dad is an avid nature buff so I knew the species right away I left her alone but got a bit freaked when she flew onto my chest! I brushed her off back onto the screen but I swear I can still feel the creepy crawlies…:) they are very beneficial, tho I think the hens might finish her off in there…..

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