Some Hillside Insects

Ichneumonid and Braconid Wasps Superfamily Ichneumonoidea

Ichneumonid and Braconid Wasps are two branches of the Ichneumonoidea superfamily. Although mostly harmless to humans (Ichneumonids do not sting humans and Braconids only sting when physically threatened, they are not harmless to the hillside woods. They lay eggs in/on caterpillars and the larvae feed off of their hosts’ bodies, eventually draining the caterpillars to death. Caterpillars infected can survive as the larvae grow inside them, but they cannot reproduce.

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Greater Bee Fly - Bombylius major

How is a Greater Bee Fly different than a bee?

  • One pair of wings instead of two

  • A more triangular body (bees have oval shaped bodies)

Also found in the Hillside woods is the Greater Bee Fly. The parasitic flies bear great resemblance to bees and are often mistaken for them. Instead, they infest bee and wasp nests with their eggs and feed from the nests from the insides.

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle - Cicindela sexguttata

One invasive insect in the hillside woods is the six-spotted tiger beetle. The beetles eat spiders, ants, and caterpillars. They mate in the summer and are active from April to September. They can be identified by the green and yellow spots on their backs.