Monday, 9 July 2012

Video Of Ichneumon Wasp Laying Eggs

 I was in the garden this evening, taking down the washing, when this Ichneumon Wasp caught my eye.  Needless to say, I flung the washing at the basket and ran indoors for my camera.  
Ichneumon wasps are parasitic; laying their eggs on, near or inside the larvae of other insects or spiders.  She will detect the larvae by the smell of their droppings and by sensing vibrations in the wood with her antennae.  I was incredibly lucky to have caught this female just as she was driving her long ovipositor into an old branch to lay her eggs in the crack.


You can see her walk up and down the wood, carefully laying one egg after another.  The long black sheath used to protect the ovipositor when not in use, helps her to balance.  When the eggs hatch, they will consume the host.  They will overwinter in the wood and pupate in the spring before emerging. 

Update (13/7/12) - David Notton at iSpot has given me a possible id for this ichneumon wasp of Ephialtes manifestator.  (Thanks David)

12 comments:

  1. Wonderful video Omi and well done on capturing the egglaying moment!

    I haven't seen many ichneumon wasps around the garden but I do occasionally get them in the moth trap!

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    1. Thanks Caroline, I was lucky to be out there at the right time. I usually forget to bring the washing in until nightfall (when it's getting damp again!), so perhaps it was a reward for being on the ball.

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  2. That was a wonderful capture Omi, well spotted! So there are some rewards to doing the washing ;-)

    Not sure what you did differently this time but happily I was able to view the video in all its glory on the iPad :-)

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    1. Thank you Jan :D Aha, this time I uploaded my video to YouTube and inserted it from there. Before, I used Blogger's up-loader. I think the quality is better this way too. Glad you can see it from your iPad now!

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  3. Amazing video Omi! I must admit that these little critters are a bit too small for my old eyes! I can never make out which one is which!
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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    1. Cheers John :D Old eyes indeed - you must be about the same age as me! ;)

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  4. An excellent and interesting video Omi.Not something I have seen before and probably will not see again.

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    1. Thank you Peter :) I was lucky to be there at the right time!

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  5. Brilliant video Omi,superb.
    John.

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