I got pretty excited about this wasp yesterday.
She’s the first ichneumon wasp I’ve ever seen live and in-person. They’re supposedly pretty common, I guess I just haven’t ever really looked for them before.
I was out clearing some trees from a fence line when I noticed her “stinging” a tree. She’s actually using her ovipositor (which looks like a frighteningly-oversized stinger) to inject her eggs under the bark of the tree and directly into the larvae of another insect. These eggs will hatch inside their larval host as a parasite, and eventually kill their host when it’s time to “hatch” out.
Pretty cool stuff.