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Post: Blog2_Post
  • Writer's pictureMid Wales Bees and Wasps

A New First For Breconshire

This Ichneumon wasp was found by Ben Mullen in his kitchen in September. It was certainly initally a puzzle.

Apecthis compunctor, Ben Mullen

Apecthis compunctor, Ben Mullen

They are parasitoid wasps of the order Hymenoptera and tend to utilize caterpillars of moths and butterflies. There are 2,500 species of Ichneumonid in the UK and they are generally difficult to identify.The eggs will be laid inside the caterpillar by the female adult, using her long ovipositor. The larvae of the Ichneumon will live off the caterpillars, eventually killing them before the adult wasp emerges.

As a rule, I don't tend to look at this group of wasps but there are some that can be attempted using the Natural History Museum key by Gavin Broad.

It is available online at:

Using the key, I was able to 'guess' at the wasp by basically matching it up with the photographs, not very scientific! However, after joining the Ichneumon Facebook page and putting the photo up, it was confirmed by one of the top experts in the UK. So Ben has found a first record of this species for Breconshire and the eighth record for Wales!

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