insect of the week

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there are other things i should do right now, but …oh well.

last weekend, i came across this insect:

ephialtes manifestator ephialtes manifestator

when i looked it up, i found some really interesting details about it:
it’s an ichneumon wasp (ichneumonidae), probably ephialtes manifestator, and it uses its enourmously long stinger (which is actually a flimsy ovipositor wrapped into a protective shell) to drill into timber and lay its eggs INTO the larvae (and pupae) of bark beetles. when drilling, it actually spins around in a circle.

where there are bark beetle larvae, there’s also a special kind of fungus, and according to natur-lexikon.com it’s the smell of this fungus that leads the wasp to its target.

here‘s a photo of an individual that’s drilling.

update: related post – more photos and a video

auf deutsch:
bei dem insekt handelt es sich um eine holzschlupfwespe – wahrscheinlich ephialtes manifestator. den langen “stachel” (in wirklichkeit ein ovipositor) benutzt sie, um in totholz zu bohren, und ihre eier in darin befindliche borkenkäferlarven zu legen. beim bohren dreht sie sich wie ein drehbohrer im kreis.
laut natur-lexicon.com findet die schlupfwespe diese käferlarven über den geruch eines pilzes, der im holzmehl der larven vorkommt.

ein foto einer bohrenden holzschlupfwespe gibt’s hier.

update: neue fotos und ein video

[categories: in german, nature, photo]

One comment on “insect of the week

  1. As fascinating as they are, and as cool as your photography is ... bugs are still gross. On to the next post! :)

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