Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Wasp or not?


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I've sent  photos and a video of this insect to my termite guys who cannot identify it.  They said I don't have signs of either termites or carpenter ants which was the first guess.  I've seen three live and a few dead ones.  I live in Portland, Oregon, and it's definitely termite season from what I hear (May).   I've not seen any without wings. They look a bit like Netelia type wasps..the back part of the body seems to be lifted off the front part then drops down. I don't see a stinger or a proboscis. tho. The long antennae are not angled. Six legs. One pair of wings. They move very fast when walking.  I managed to catch onein a jar and got a video of him(?) which shows the shape much better than the photos but I'm not sure how to upload it for you.  He survived for a few days without air but has since expired.  (feel so bad about that ...do insects feel pain. augh). The attached photos are the best shot I have to show his body shape even tho they are a little blurry. I would LOVE to be able to submit a video of it running around in a jar.  Please help? I am trying very hard to find out if this is an insect I need to worry about treating for or whether they are relatively harmless to houses and pets.


The insect in the images is definitely an ichneumon wasp, but there is not enough detail to tell you any more.  Well, there wouldn't likely be enough detail in *any* image regardless of its quality.  Many of the characters needed to identify Ichneumonidae to genus, let alone species, are microscopic, or not evident on living specimens that are moving around, have their wings folded, etc.

I would release it.  The majority of ichneumon wasps do not sting, either, so no worries there.

More about ichneumons here:


Hope this puts your mind at ease.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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