This is by far the biggest Wasp I`ve ever encountered. As I travel along the Northern regions of our North American Continent I`m amazed at how large Insects and Arachnids can be in such extreme habitats.
When I came across this Wasp the entire tree was covered with them. There were two varieties. This black colored Wasp measuring at least ten inches fully stretched out with its long ovipositors stretched out and a smaller orange colored variety. Although most of them seemed to have the same behavior there was some interaction between the two that lead me to believe there may have been males and females mating (See Picture Below).
This particular individual appeared to be laying eggs with the aid of its ovipositors into tiny holes in the bark of the tree. The rear extremity of the abdomen would open and fan out into a strange green sac (See Picture Below) on some of the individuals observed.
Taking the pictures proved to be a difficult challenge due to the limited light in this dense wooded area. Being late in the evening with with the light fading quickly and no Macro equipment I was ill equipped for the task but I gave it a go. These were photographed Hand-held with a Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-300 Vr and a Nikon Speedlight SB-900 Flash Gun. They had to be photographed at a distance of 5 feet due to the minimum focus distance of this particular lens.
- Ichneumonoidea – Green Fanned Sac
- Ichneumonoidea – Apparent Mating
Nikon D700 – Nikkor 70-300 VR – Speedlight SB-900 – ISO 800 1/200 @ f8