Orange Caterpillar Parasite Wasp
Female, S2: Wing Venation
Ellura
Orange Caterpillar Parasite Wasp
Female, S1: Face & Ocelli
 
    
Orange Caterpillar Parasite Wasp (Netelia sp ES1)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)
Family: Ichneumon Wasp (Wasp: Ichneumonidae)
Species: Orange Caterpillar Parasite Wasp (Netelia sp ES1)
This Photo:     Female, S1: Antenna
Other names: Red Jacket Wasp or Red Soldier Wasp

Thank you Susanna H for confirming the identification of this species

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Adelaide Hills and elsewhere
~18mm long.
A dangerous looking wasp, but quite placid.
3 purple jewels (actually 3 Ocelli, simple eyes) on top of its head between the compound eyes.
Large wasp with varying shades of light brown to orange across the body.
Clear wings.
We had always thought they were Netelia producta, but further research shows that the wing venation doesn't quite match. While they had the areolet with the missing side, the areolet and wing are different shape; along with other smaller wing venation variations. There are some 12 species in the genus, most with no on-line images available. There are also mention of a large number of undescribed species. As such, we lifted these to genus level.
S1 & S3 were caught & released at Ellura, showing gender variation. S2 was found dead in the Adelaide Hills. It highlights how the ovi-positor is positioned on the bottom of the abdomen, while the protective sheath bent against the posterior end.
To be clear, Susanna confirmed S3 as Netelia. It's important to highlight as we may have made mistakes with the others.

Similar Species: Yellow-faced Moth Parasitic Wasp

Copyright © 2017- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 29-Aug-2017
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.