Adults can sting and are frequently encountered around lights in and around the home. They are often attracted to artificial lights. The 'sting' can cause some discomfort, so it's possible that the insect injects some irritant. It emerges from the carcass as a winged adult. Females likely attach a fertilized egg to a caterpillar with the aid of the ovipositor. When viewed dorsally they have a long narrow reddish brown body but from a side view, the thin curved waist broadens out to a deep abdominal region. Larvae feed on immature stages of white grubs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Many species of Ophion look similar therefore field identification is difficult. Remarks.
The caterpillar dies in the process, but the wasp larva remains in the corpse to pupate. Length: 15 to 22 mm. They have also been known to use this ovipositor in a defensive way when they feel threatened. The Ophion species are one of the most common Ichneumon wasps in the U.S. "Ophion is by far the most abundant and diverse ophionine genus in virtually all habitats across the Holarctic region (Gauld, 1980, 1988)"- Schwarzfeld et al 2016. Possibly a more common ichneumon is Ophion nigrovarius Provancher, which is reddish or dark yellow-brown, 1-inch long, with brown-tinted wings. A larva enters the caterpillar's body after hatching, and consumes it from the inside.
We … Ophion obscuratus is identified the pale stripes on the thorax and by pale corners of the 'stigma' (the dark mark on the leading edge of the forewing). Almost all the larvae for Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasps are parasites to caterpillars. See Also.
Most ichneumons are smaller parasitic wasps. Yellow ophions lay their eggs inside the body of caterpillars through a hair-like ovipositor.
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