wasps at light

John Grehan jrg13 at psu.edu
Mon Jan 4 15:16:08 EST 1999

Another wasp report.

Many years ago I experienced large numbers of a species of ichneumon wasp
at my mercury vapour light in New Zealand. Unfortunately I do not recall the
name of the species, but it was about 2.5 cm (1 inch) in lengh and I
believe it was a parasitoid
of Lepidoptera larvae. The negative side of their "attraction" to the trap
was the difficulty of
standing over the collecting bin (which was open with the light suspended
above) while
looking for moths.

 Ocassionally a wasp would be inclined to fly up into one's
face, and somehow often ending up in the vicinity of the eyes. I was stung once
in the face. Nothing bad, but a nuisance all the same. Interestingly, these
were active through the winter (which is a mild) and I have wondered if they
were actively searching inactive caterpillars (or pupae?) during that time.

John Grehan

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