Memories caught through my camera - the many faces and things I love.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Today was another first for me. I spotted several of these strange looking insects and wondered if they would sting me or not. I found that I was observing a Giant Ichneumon Wasp drilling a hole in a dead tree to lay eggs.

The Inchneumon Wasp can be found on dead trees and tree stumps. The female is actually looking for the pigeon horntail grubs
- so she can lay her eggs that will eventually hatch and eat the horntail - both of these are stingless wasps. Her long tail is longer than her body and is called an ovipositor.

The female uses the ovipositor to drill into the wood of a tree and then arches her back and her abdomen follows the ovipositor to the hole in the tree and deposits her eggs.

The male is not a colorful as the female and his abdomen is smaller and more slender. I hope to get pictures of a male now that I know where to find the females! These are very interesting insects - with the typical three body parts (head, thorax and abdomen), 6 segmented legs and pairs of wings. The big difference in these insects from other insects is the ovipositor.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Walking Through My World

Another wonderful day to walk around my neighborhood. Spring is almost over and the weather is warming up. We still have many cloudy days but great for taking photos.

Today I spotted several bugs and flowers that I always enjoy seeing.

The Common Whitetail dragonflies were very active today, I spotted numerous male and female CW. The Female Common Whitetail has a dark "tail" or abdomen and the mature males a white chalky bluish abdomen.