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662 Views 2 Replies Last post: Jun 7, 2013 8:56 AM by bombuslucorum - Museum ID team RSS
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Jun 6, 2013 10:59 PM

what is this flying insect?

I spotted this wasp/dragonfly looking insect whilst at work today in the wimbledon area,  I have never seen one before so guessing it's fairly rare, any ideas as to what it is? Its legs are red/orange with a black and white body, a long black spike as a tail and wings similar to a dragonfly...

Sorry for the poor quality picture, it was the best I could get!

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    Jun 7, 2013 8:56 AM (in response to dean)
    Re: what is this flying insect?

    My first guess is that it is an ichneumon wasp, probably Rhyssa persuasoria. That certainly has orange legs a black body and a long tail. Most images show white spots on the body and it's not clear if your insect had those but the web also has images of this without the white spots.

     

    Alan

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    Jun 7, 2013 8:56 AM (in response to dean)
    Re: what is this flying insect?

    This beauty is Rhyssa persuasoria the largest of our ichneumon wasps. The female, as this is, cleverly locates a beetle larvae feeding within wood and uses her long ovipositor (egg laying tube) to drill through the wood and lay her egg within the beetle larva. On hatching her offspring devours the beetle larva from the inside out.

     

    The ovipositor is amazingly flexible yet strong and studies of this mechanism have led to advances in the drilling equipment used in offshore rigs - we can learn so much from nature.

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/3033.shtml

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