Ichneumonid wasp investigating screw in solitary bee nest box!

I saw this Ichneumonid wasp (Ephialtes manifestator?) using her antennae to feel the outside wooden casing of my orchard solitary bee nest box. This behaviour I have seen used by many other parasitoid wasps in the presence of their hosts, so I decided to keep an eye on her! I have already had a Gasteruption jaculator another ichneumon wasp a few days ago, checking out the very same nest box.

Probing a screw with her long ovipositor

If it is an Ephialtes manifestator, then according to the Natural History Museum, these ichneumonid wasps do parasitise solitary bees and other solitary wasps. You can see a lovely shot of the wasp on a solitary bee nest box here at Grantham Ecology  along with other beautiful photos of bees; it’s well worth a visit. Perhaps this wasp did indeed have a screw loose!!

 

However, I must admit there were solitary bee larvae inside the actual nest box, well safe from even this ichneumonid wasps ovipositor! She was miles away! (Well ok, 6 inches higher and 2 1/2″ deeper!)

Some species of Ichneumon wasps can be beneficial as a biological control of agricultural pests.

Download NHM Beginner’s guide to identifying ichneumonids

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