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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!

18 October, 2016

Pimpla turionellae: an ichneumon fly

I found this little creature in the window of our kitchen but despite being temporarily captive it proved a bit difficult to photograph! Once on camera I was able to identify is as an ichneumon fly, Pimpla turionellae. There are two very similar species the other being Pimpla rufipes but the black lower part of the rear legs is, apparently diagnostic of Pimpla turionellae! 
As an ichneumon it is destined to lay its eggs in the pupae of a butterfly, it is not over fussy which species. Despite my love of butterflies I felt obliged to let it go by opening the window and then let nature take its course. It seems cruel but it is a hard world out there and the ichneumon has a right to life as well as the butterfly so in the end it will be the battle of the strongest.
Pimpla turionellae: an ichneumon fly