The Ichneumon Wasps that belong to the family Ichneumonidae have 2 very unique behaviors and there are almost 60,000 different species of lchneumon Wasps worldwide. One very significant difference between the ichneumon wasps and the normal wasps is that the former have an antennae of more than 16 segment while the latter only have 13 or less. The female ichneumon wasps also have an ovipositor that is longer than its’ body. They have a very unique way of using the ovipositor. This will be shown in the video which featured the Anomaloninae species of the ichneumon wasps.
As highlighted in the video, the 1st part of the video shows that the wasps are able to find nests that contain host larvae and after entering the nest, it will release a special pheromones to cause confusion among the attackers causing them to attack one another instead of the ichneumon wasp.
Next i will talk about an unique reproduction behavior of the ichneumon wasp. Different species of ichneumon wasps will lay their eggs in the larvae of different insects. These insects include beetles and butterflies. In the video, we are able to see that once the ants started attacking one another, the wasp will approach the larvae of the butterfly that is also in the ant nest. It will then lay its eggs into each of the butterfly larvae and then it will leave the ant nest. Surprisingly, the ichneumon wasps are able to sense/find the ant nest with the butterfly larvae correctly. More info of this behavior can also be found in the science journal found at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/u5lk77h230328066/
The link to the video is as follows: Ichneumon wasp on youtube
“The ichneumon wasp” Youtube. URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLvuevf__Ok (Accessed on 6th April 2010)
“Ichneumonidae” URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichneumonidae (Accessed on 6th April 2010)
“Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 15 (2): 190-194, June 1972. The ichneumon wasp venturia canescens: oviposition and avoidance of superparasitism (David Rogers)