This is a male Ichneumon wasp. While not as impressive looking as the females with those extraordinary long ovipositors, they are still somewhat unique in the wasp world.
Ichneumons have antennae with 16 segments instead of the typical 13 segments sported by most wasps. These highly developed antennae help females to tappy tap on wood to locate an appropriate grub to deposit her egg into. Males use this same ability to “see” through the wood’s surface to look for a female who might be about to emerge.
Something else interesting is the fact that the family Ichneumonidae is considered (at present) the largest family in the animal kingdom. It is estimated there are between 60,000 and 100,000 species of these beneficial wasps.
Also, most arthropods tend to become more diverse as you get closer to the equator. Ichneumons; however, seem to increase in diversity at higher latitudes.
Yes! Finally a win for Canada.
Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!
Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm macro, ISO100, 1/60, F10, two diffused SB200 flash heads, tripod
September 2016, Florida, USA