Ichneumon Wasp

an Ichneumonidae wasp from Kimunye, Mt Kenya Forest. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed along a sunny path in Mt. Kenya Forest Reserve, Kimunye, Kirinyaga, Kenya, Africa. June 2017.

Ichneumon and other parasitic wasps are severely under appreciated by the general public. Firstly they often go unnoticed because they are often quite small - the one shown here is much larger than many kinds at almost 10 mm. Also, because they do not sting they are not felt. However, these insects are vital to a to the success of agriculture because they serve to keep many crop-feeding insects in check. Female ichneumons are able to insert minute eggs into a host insect that eventually kills the insect as it matures into a new wasp. In natural environments they are key components of what is commonly called the "balance of nature".

Ichneumonidae -- a Parasitic Wasp Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 30 June 2018.