The Resident Ichneumon

This tiny and speedy ichneumon wasp, which I am calling a Theronia species, has been hanging around my patch of wild strawberries for a couple of months.  If I am close to correct in the identification (with more than 100,000 described ichneumons, how close could I be?), then this species parasitize tent caterpillars along with a number of other lepidopterans.

Ichneumonidae - Theronia sp. - Female - Photographed in the author's wild strawberry patch, St. Louis Co., MO.
Ichneumonidae – Theronia sp. – Female – Photographed in the author’s wild strawberry patch, St. Louis Co., MO.

I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars …

-Charles Darwin-

Ichneumonidae - Theronia sp. - IMG_6541
Ichneumonidae – Theronia sp. – Female – Photographed in the author’s wild strawberry patch, St. Louis Co., MO.

-OZB

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