This family of parasitic wasps contains an estimated 60,000 species which are classified into 36 subfamilies.
Ichneumoninae is the second largest subfamily of the family Ichneumonidae.
All individuals of this subfamily are internal parasites of the order Lepidoptera.
Although females oviposit one egg into either larvae or pupae, the offspring
always emerge from the pupa (Burks, 1979). Ichneumoninae are endoparasitic idiobionts. An
idiobiont has a wide range of hosts and it eats, kills, or paralyzes the host
immediately after oviposition therefore resulting in no continuation of development.
An endoparasite feeds internally on its host whereas an ectoparasite
feeds externally (Gaasch,1998). Female Ichneumoninae look for hosts on the ground and have
short ovipositors, possibly as a result of their host usually being a naked larvae (Goulet, 1993).
Adults feed on honey dew of aphids and on certain plant foliage. They have a
general dislike of intense amounts of heat and sunlight and therefore are not
usually found during the middle of the day (Heinrich, 1977).
- Goulet, Henri, John T. Huber. 1993. Hymenoptera of the World: An Identification Guide to Families. Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research. Ottowa, Ontario.
- Heinrich, Gerd H. Ichneumoninae of Florida and Neighboring States. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Gainsville, Florida.
- Burks, B.D., Paul D. Hurd, Jr. Karl V. Krombein, and David P. Smith. 1979. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C.
- Gaasch, Christine M., Clinton T. Moore, and John Pickering. 1998. "Flight Phenology of Parasitic Wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) in Georgia's Piedmont". Community and Ecosystem Ecology.
I would like to thank everyone in Dr. John Pickering's lab who helped me to build this page.
Special thanks to Bryan McLucas, Elizabeth Skillen, and Ryan Bartlett for their knowlege and tolerance.