08 October 2013

Giant Ichneumon

At 62mm from its head to the tip of its extraordinarily long ovipositor, Rhyssella approximator is one of our largest ichneumon wasps, a group of parasitoids for which little information is readily available, so I am grateful for help from Mark Pavett at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff for a provisional identification. I am hoping that Mark will in addition to confirming the id will provide some information on its status in Wales.
What I presume was the same same individual was seen hanging around a log pile while I set up a moth trap at Horton yesterday evening, but it was very active and I was unable to catch or photograph it. Therefore, I was very pleased to find it in the moth trap this morning especially as it compensated for the general paucity of moths in what turned out to be rather wet and blustery night on the coast. Thanks again to Cathy Dorran for letting me run the trap at their top location and to Mark and Sue at Port Eynon.
Between these two trapping locations I stopped to check the tube-light by the gate to the Burrows Caravan Park, where in addition to finding seven Feathered Ranuculus (more than what was in either moth trap!) there also a nice specimen of the harvestman Opilio saxatilis.

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