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Spot ID Characters for the Family


Ichneumon Wasps

Key Characters:

  • Forewings lack a costal cell
  • 16 or more segments in the antennae
  • Two-segmented trochanters
  • Females with a long, slender ovipositor
  • Horsehead cell visible in front wing

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One of the most abundant families in the order Hymenoptera, these wasps possesses many unique characteristics that allow them to stand out.  Each forewing lacks a costal cell, but has a horsehead cell towards the middle of the wing.  The antenna is unusually long with 16 or more segments.  Commonly recognized as slender wasps, the females have a long ovipositor that is often longer than the body.  In addition to these traits, the ichneumon wasps also have two-segmented trochanters that allow for an easy identification.  Many species of this family are internal parasitoids of the immature stages of the host, where they may complete their development.