Sometimes reference books are of no help at all and you need an expert! So it was with this ichneumon I found on hogweed at Durlston. Despite searching my reference books and pondering the possibilities I could not find an identification I was happy with so I uploaded the photograph and a description to the excellent Ispot website (an Open University project) and sure enough, within the hour I had a positive identification, Buathra laborator.
Armed with a name I went back to my books and it is not in any of them! Google to rescue? There are some entries but in general, other than it is known as the red-legged wasp and the red-legged ichneumon there is very little else. It is a large insect and the female has a very long ovipositor. It is parasitic on caterpillars and that is about all I can find out. There is some thought that it is quite rare and others that it is just under recorded.Buathra laborator: the red-legged wasp