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ovipositing giant Ichneumon wasps

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by Jerry Snider, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Jerry Snider

    Jerry Snider

    May 8, 2005
    Three pics of what appears to be Giant Ichneumon Wasps ovipositing into borer larvae tunnels in stump of slippery elm. If my ids are incorrect please advise.



  2. cant argue with the id, Exquisite shots.
  3. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    Can you tell us how you find these great opportunities?

    Thanks for sharing these. They are wonderful.
  4. Simon


    Apr 30, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Scary and exciting shots.

    They are wonderous to see but the almost "alien" like presence is a little un-nerving.

    Top quality pics.
  5. These are great shots Jerry.
    How large is giant in this case? Our biggest Ichneumonids here in Europe (Rhyssa persuasoria and another one that's name escaped my mind) are about 5 cm long (without ovipositor!!).
    I used to watch them ovipositing many years ago, which is absolutely fascinating. Often they do not even use existing boring holes but send their ovipositor directly through solid wood (which is incredible) and their success rate at hitting a beetle larva (or something comparable) is astoundingly high. As far as I know they are able to sense the vibrations caused by motion or feeding of the "victim" and are thus able to precisely locate them inside the trunk/log etc.

  6. Jerry Snider

    Jerry Snider

    May 8, 2005
    Thanks for looking and commenting Dave, Patrick, Simon.

    Harry, the largest (which isn't shown) is right at 6 cm long with the ovipositor over 7 cm. Couldn't get a decent shot of it since my grandson was pestering me throughout. Hope to find her again this morning. The dead slippery elm tree along the back edge of my woods fell a few days ago and while I was sawing/cleaning up noticed the wasps on the fresh cut stump. They likely had been using this tree for a few years higher up so never noticed them.
    The wasp in the third pic seems to have a membrane surrounding the ovipositor.

    Thanks Bob, for the comments.
  7. Hello Jerry!

    Great pictures and very beautiful insects!!!

    6cm? That´s a quite big.... Have never seen that big here...nor as colorful...

    I would like to ask you about the flash system you´re using?

    Great pics and thank you for sharing!!!
  8. Jerry Snider

    Jerry Snider

    May 8, 2005
    J. Ankanpaa,
    Search for: "Macro setup--or spending my kids' inheritance" under my name and you will find the info re my typical flash setup. Unfortunately, I didn't use this setup for these photos as they were taken quick and dirty. I only used a single SB800 flash, Softbox, and it was underexposing heavily due to weak batteries. Removed the softbox and used the flash at +3 and it still didn't provide much light. So, except for the reflected highlights the major portion of the lighting was sunlight. Hope they return today so I can try to improve on my efforts.
    Color is a bit more accurate in the attached (slightly cropped) photo:

  9. What a freaky looking wasp! These shots are great! Nice job!!
  10. Beautiful shots
  11. Jerry Snider

    Jerry Snider

    May 8, 2005
    Thanks for the comments, Kevin. Appreciate your input.
  12. FishSauce


    Aug 10, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    6cm, I haven't seen this guy before, anyway the picture is very sharp
  13. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Most excellent shots, and great background narrative as well Jerry. Very enjoyable.
  14. Jerry Snider

    Jerry Snider

    May 8, 2005
    Oops! Almost missed your input. Thanks much for the comments, Flew.
  15. Hi Jerry, I'm sorry to almost miss these awesome shots. Great work.
  16. I must admit I have never seen a wasp like this one. You have captured it well and have given us all something new to look at. Good job.
  17. Great shots, amazing how much we can learn through photography, esp macros. I love photos of bugs, we can see so much with a camera that we can't see with the naked eye. These are terrific, thanks for sharing.
  18. Jerry Snider

    Jerry Snider

    May 8, 2005
    Thanks for looking and the input, Dao, Gordon, Sandi. A shameless :rolleyes:  way to get you to look, but the photos in the second batch Ichneumon wasp thread I think are a tad better. In any event, we all seem to find these to be fascinating critters. Just wish that I knew more about their reproductive biology. Thanks again for the comments.
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