Facts about the Ichneumon Fly

Ichneumon Fly
   Ichneumon Fly is a family of two-winged insects. There are over 1,000 species of ichneumon flies, differing very considerably, but having in common a family characteristic of depositing their eggs in or on the larvae of other insects. Some species of ichneumon flies deposit their eggs on the bodies of caterpillars. The body of the female usually terminates in an awl-shaped egg depositor, which, in some species, is much longer than the body of the fly itself. Many species of ichneumon flies use the ovi-depositor as a drill. One in partic­ular is able to locate larvae in a dead tree or twig accurately. It throws its drill up over its body in a long curve and hammers away on the wood until it has reached the larva within. It then deposits an egg in the body of the unfortunate grub, and leaves it to hatch out and feed on its host. In this way ichneumon flies destroy countless millions of insec pests. They are as useful in their way as are the ichneumons of Egypt from which they are named.