Fort Collins, Colorado. I saw a couple of these flying around today but couldn't get close enough to tell for sure what they were. Looked like either the longest skinniest damselfly I had ever seen, or perhaps some predator hauling around the longest skinniest damselfly I had ever seen. But when I arrived back at my hotel room tonight, danged if one of them didn't come to rest on the hood of my car! So I nabbed it in a small plastic cup and relocated it indoors where I could photograph it.
The image shown here is again by HTC Droid Incredible 2, continuous illumination from a desk lamp. No manipulation other than resizing for posting. I don't know what causes the variation in color balance across the frame.
Species ID is Pelecinus polyturator, also known as the American Pelecinid wasp. It is in family Pelecinidae. I had thought Ichneumonidae, and actually found the critter by doing a Google image search on ichneumon wasp colorado. But they are actually separate even at the level of superfamily.
As described at http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2007/07/31/ ... lecinid-9/,
Wikipedia adds the interesting snippet of information thatThe female uses her long abdomen to deposit eggs in the soil near burrowing June Beetle Grubs. The larval wasp then feeds on the beetle grubs.
and on a different page, thatPelecinus polyturator is parthenogenic; females do not require fertilization by males to reproduce. Females are common throughout its range, but males are quite rare in the United States and Canada, and more common farther south.
This is a large wasp: 55 mm total body length from head to tip of tail.The genus Pelecinus is the only living member of the family Pelecinidae (there are also two fossil genera), and contains only three species...
I hope you find this as interesting as I do. I am often surprised by what I find when I track down information about the critters that attracted my attention just because of their appearance.