Identify this bug in the UK
June 2, 2010 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Help me identify this insect that just scared the living daylights out of us in the South West of the UK.
posted by Morsey to Science & Nature (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This looks to me like an Ichnemon wasp. If it's not an ichnemon, it's still most definitely a wasp.
posted by knz at 9:04 AM on June 2, 2010

looks like it's this one.
posted by lee at 9:05 AM on June 2, 2010

The thing that's weird about Morsey's wasp is how short its antennae are but I don't know if that's significant or not....could it just be a young wasp?
posted by iconomy at 9:13 AM on June 2, 2010

check the non-biting midge on this page
posted by HuronBob at 9:19 AM on June 2, 2010

looks more like this one (from the US)
posted by at 9:24 AM on June 2, 2010

Best answer: I don't think it's a wasp - it's blurry but I think it only has one pair of wings. On the right picture instead you can see a lump below the wing that I think is a haltere - which would make it a true fly. So a quick google suggests a member of the Tipulidae, and perhaps something from the genus Ctenophora. If I had to guess then I'd say perhaps a female Ctenophora elegans. Male Tipulidae have a swollen end to the abdomen, like in the linked picture.

posted by cromagnon at 9:38 AM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Here's a better link to a picture of a female. Pretty happy with that species, now.
posted by cromagnon at 9:47 AM on June 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm with cromagnon-- the abdomen also doesn't look anything like a wasp's abdomen, and the petiole (waist) looks far too thick for a wasp. The long legs are also more true fly-like. I think cromagnon's got it.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:53 AM on June 2, 2010

Raaargh. Misremembered what I originally typed. Yours is a female Ctenophora pectinicornis, not C. elegans. Totally harmless, by the way, unless you're a rotting log, and quite rare, if I'm right about the species.
posted by cromagnon at 9:53 AM on June 2, 2010

I stand corrected, indeed the wings are wrong for a wasp.
posted by knz at 9:55 AM on June 2, 2010

I always thought that these were a crane fly.
posted by bz at 1:03 PM on June 2, 2010

Oh, I thought it might be a wood wasp, but it looks like cromagnon has it.
posted by dabitch at 2:18 PM on June 2, 2010

bz - they are craneflies; it looks as though not all craneflies look like daddy-long-legs, which was news to me.

That's Brit daddy-long-legs, the US ones being, I think, opilione arachnids.
posted by cromagnon at 2:51 PM on June 2, 2010

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