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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

20 October, 2016

Buathra laborator: the red-legged wasp

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