Size: 3.5 – 4.5mm
Basic colour: cream, yellow, orange, red, brown, purple or black
Pattern colour: cream, yellow, orange, red, purple, maroon, brown or black
Number of spots: 0-15
Spot fusions: common
Melanic (black) form: various and common
Pronotum: white with 5 dark spots, which may be fused, or dark trapezium mark
Leg colour: brown
Habitat: deciduous trees and hedgerows
Host plant: various trees
Overwintering: leaf litter, beech nuts
Other notes: Extremely variable in colour and pattern.
Length: 15 to 22 mm. Ophion obscuratus is identified by pale corners of the ‘stigma’ (the dark mark on the leading edge of the forewing) and the distinctive pale marks on the top of the thorax. Many species of Ophion genera look similar therefore field identification is difficult. When viewed dorsally they have a long narrow reddish brown body but from a side view, the thin curved waist broadens out to a deep abdominal region
When to see it
April – October
Females lay their eggs in the caterpillars of various noctuid moths. Because of this, they have no need of the long (sting like) ovipositors which many of the other ichneumons need to reach deep seated wood boring larvae.
A fairly common species in Britain… Nature spot
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Wingspan 27-32 mm.
Mainly distributed in the south and south-east of England, it occurs locally as far north as northern England.
It inhabits wooded valleys, downland and southern heaths, and flies in September and October.
The larvae feed on beech (Fagus) or field maple (Acer campestre), at first on the buds and subsequently on the flowers and leaves…. UK Moths
This is our largest Sargus (wing length to 10mm). Thorax shiny metallic green, scutellum without spines, veins in the wing quite distinct. The male and female of this species differ considerably in appearance, males are very slim with a metallic green thorax and metallic bronze abdomen (like male Chloromyia formosa but with a much narrower build). Females have a broader build with the base of the abdomen extensively reddish contrasting with a blackish tip bearing blue reflections. Both sexes have orange legs and a pair of whitish spots on the frons just above the antennae.
Low vegetation. Adults can be found in a variety of open and wooded habitats, usually sunbathing on foliage in sheltered spots.
When to see it
August to early November.
The larvae have been reared from cow dung, compost, rotting vegetation and decaying fungi…Nature spot