Ichneumon Wasp  (three photos)
"Short-tailed Ichneumon"
Genus Ophion
13 mm

tiny ichneumon wasp
Ichneumon Wasps of the genus Ophion dine primarily on caterpillars. This female one
 is so small, it's a wonder   she can dine on anthing larger than an ant.  From the
tip of her head to the end of her adbomen this tiny wasp is only 13 mm and the
antennae are as long, if not longer, than the entire insect. Carol Davis 4-22-2010

orange wasp
The black knob at the end of the abdomen is the ovipositor and is extremely short
in this genus.  The ovipositor is what the female uses to deposit an egg inside a caterpillar. 
When the egg hatches the larva grows inside and feeds off the host until the host dies. 
The wasp then pupates inside the remains.  It's a crappy job, but they seem to take it on
willingly (I sure don't want to do it!)  Carol Davis 4-22-2010

Here's a top view of this beautiful wasp showing the two large compound
 eyes and the three small simple eyes. I think the pattern on the thorax is
beautiful. Visit Wikipedia to learn more about Ichneumon Wasps. 
   You can see another species here on my site.  Carol Davis 4-22-2010

Home - Insects and Bugs of Utah

Other Home - Amazing Nature