This is the second time this week I've spotted this, but I've finally been able to capture one in my spider catcher! I apologise for photo, but it keeps walking around toward the light and it's difficult to get the camera in focus before it moves away!
1.5 cm long with 0.5 cm long "sting"
long clear wings over body
I'd love to know what it is because I've never seen it before and it looks quite scary to someone who doesn't like like spiders or daddy-long-legs... or anything really!!
The former has, in non-entomological terms, a fat waist, the latter has a thin waist.
I think I can see the waist well enough to say it is an ichneumonoid wasp (Ichneumonoidea), probably an ichneumonid wasp (Ichneumonidae). ...Of which there are many species.
With better close-ups, we might be able to suggest a species, but probably with limited reliability, even as to genus (because many species even in different genera look similar).
As it is, we're guessing.
Maybe one of my compatriate identifiers here can take a stab at a name?...
Yours is a female. That 'sting' is her ovipositor.
Thank you for that! I've Googled for some other images and the ichneumonoid wasp does appear to be it. The one on the Wikipedia page is stripy, which mine isn't, but the one on this webpage http://www.pawsforwildlife.co.uk/ichneumon_stramentor.php is much more like it.
I'm very grateful for the help and education!
Well done on following-up.
Have a read of this before being confident you've got a good ID
(I'm rarely confident on ichneumon IDs.)
The photo in the article you mention has a very vivid red body, which "my" insect does not, it has what looks like black, but certainly very dark body and broader than the slender body in the article's picture, but over all, I still feel you are correct about my insect being an ichneumon of whatever variation as nothing else comes close to looking like it!
So from my humble and uneducated mind and only vague curiosity really, I feel happy to accept your ID as correct, even if you have doubts over the finer details of a specific type of ichneumon! Don't let it keep you awake on my behalf!
I did not intend for you to pay attention to the particular specimen in that discussion, just the general information about the nature of the problems in IDing insects within Ichneumoniodea. I apologise for being unclear.
No apology necessary, I got the gyst that there is a great variety in features, hence the difficulty in being accurate in identifying them specifically. I just meant that so far the many pictures, don't look exactly like my captive, but then most of the other pictures don't particularly look the same as each other either!