Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Earlier this week we found this menacing-looking wasp high up in the Pennine moorlands near Alston in Cumbria. I wasn't too certain of its identity and thought it might be a digger wasp, but thanks to the kindness of Africa Gomez (check out her BugBlog site, it's excellent) I now know that it's a large ichneumon called Amblyteles armatorius, which lays its eggs on moth larvae, which the grubs then feed on. Gruesome. Magnificent antennae, though.
Apparently it usually spends most of its time on hogweed umbels and some sources say that it's a lowland species, so the fact that it was grounded and living at high altitude led me astray with the ID.
You can find more information on this insect by clicking here and here