humor, life

Ichneumon

pkwy bridge wmMany of you know that I live in Florida. January is one of the few times of the year I enjoy living here. Except, well, for the bugs that never die.

One Monday evening, my husband and I walked the dog. When we got back, my husband ran to the store, and I went inside.

I walked into the master bath, and thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye hanging off the strands of my shoulder length hair. I didn’t have a chance to register this obscure sighting, when a sharp pain punctured the inside of my left forearm. Owww! wtf?

needleIt felt like an invisible hand stabbed a needle into my arm with all of its might! My skin even pulled upward as if something yanked itself back out of me.

I folded over from the pain, and my face flushed. What the heck was happening? Did I get bit by a poisonous spider or a scorpion? Was I about to die from its venom?

(Yes, I do tend to go to the worse case scenario. Doesn’t everybody? No? Just me? Sigh.)

I paced in the bedroom, writhing in pain. A pea-sized lump formed on my inner forearm. The skin around it turned fuchsia and hot. What should I do?

I know … I’ll call the twenty-four hour nurse-line on my insurance plan.

Photo from wiki commons

After pressing all the recorded prompts, Nicole answered the phone. She asked me a bevvy HitchW-Smith-Allergy-reaction-2-1of questions, like if I looked like Will Smith in the movie Hitch. No, not really, but I told her I didn’t look like him just in case.

After the interview, Nicole came to the conclusion that I was having a natural reaction to whatever bit me. She said to keep an eye on it, but that it would likely be fine. She recommended a few home remedies to help with the pain, which included icing the area.

Whew! She calmed my nerves about dying, but now I worried that there was a venomous insect in my bathroom. Did I mention that I’m a worrier? Anyway, I went back in there and crawled around the floor searching for the evil intruder. Nothing.

When my husband arrived home, I showed him the lump and pinhole wound. Then, I iced the area because the pain was not subsiding.

The ice helped, and later, when it was time for bed, I went back into the same bathroom to brush my teeth. I turned to the vanity for a toothbrush and … What’s this? On the mirror, I spied a crane fly. They are a common insect here that looks like a giant mosquito.

myarm 1I shouted for my husband to come and get it for me. He trapped it in a paper towel. We got a closer look, and it appeared to have a stinger on the end of its long skinny body.

I knew I wouldn’t sleep that night until I figured out if this little bugger could kill me. The internet is a wonderful thing.

Here is what I found. Crane flies do not sting. They don’t even have teeth because they don’t eat, they suck nectar.

Then, what stung me?

Answer: This is an Ichneumon, and it is a wasp, probably from the ophionini tribe … they are among the few ichneumons capable of stinging.
Stinging Ichneumon

Side note: An ichneumon is often mistaken for a crane fly.

Anyone else ever feel the pain of an insect before? Did you think you were going to die? No? Come on!

Crane fly                                                                                                Ichneumon

Crane_fly_halteres (640x480)ichneumon (216x296)

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29 thoughts on “Ichneumon”

  1. You are not alone, Lori—I’ve been know to freak out over “mysterious” bites. I hate it when I didn’t even realize something got me until I see some red, itchy bump!

    This may be the one positive outcome of our cold and snowy winter—a lot of bugs won’t survive until spring. 🙂

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  2. Send your bugs here! Minnesota will make sure they die a slow and painful death of hypothermia and frostbite!

    Sorry to hear you were stung. It does sound VERY painful.

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    1. Ha, I’m the same way. When I worked in an office, my boss said to me, “Lori, you’d take on a 400 pound man but you run away from a little spider.” Thanks for reading about my stinging adventure, Anneli.

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  3. Wow that is one scary looking bug! I remember in college (in Texas) getting bit by some flying insect that became momentarily trapped under my eyeglasses. My eye immediately swelled up, was hot and painful. I could barely see out of it and happened to be walking pretty far from home at the time. To my great relief, within a few hours, the symptoms magically disappeared.

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  4. I hate bugs so much. The only pain I’ve truly experienced though was from a quick spider bite (and of course the fear that takes over whenever creepy bugs are in my basement or bedroom). Anyway….glad you’re well and not dead!

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    1. I know, I hate bugs, especially spiders. When I didn’t know what it was, I was petrified it was a black widow. I’ve seen them in webs on the outside of my house. The bugs here are never-ending. Thanks for coming over and reading, Lauren.

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  5. I’m convinced that Nature has it out for me and will eventually kill me. Either by strange bug bites or by causing me to trip and fall off a mountain. During the summer, the frogs almost got me, and I’m not convinced they’ve stopped their campaign. I hope your bite feels better. Sneaky bugs, The Worst!

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    1. I can relate, Maggie. I love nature, but I don’t think it loves me. I try to give it distance. Heh. Thanks for commenting. If you need any help with WordPress, let me know.

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  6. I never thought I’d be grateful for the heaps of snow and arctic air surrounding me right now, but maybe I am. No large insects with sharp stingers around. Ouch. Sorry it got you!

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    1. The bugs just keep on coming here, Carrie. The sting happened a couple of weeks ago. At the time I was scared. Looking back, I think it’s kind of funny how I reacted. But, I hope one of those things never gets near me again. 😛 Thanks for commenting. Stay warm up there.

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    1. Yeah, sneaky bug that stung me. It happened a couple of weeks ago. At the time I was scared. Now, I think it’s funny. Thanks for stopping by, Andy.

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  7. Wow, I know that Crane fly don’t bite …. it could have been anything I suppose that flies around. Sometimes we are bitten by the most strange insects that we haven’t even notice is out there. I hope you’re feeling a bit better now. Ichneumon – I don’t think we have over here … but I wouldn’t know for sure.

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      1. I would had been scared too … I don’t like bites that I’m not familiar with.
        Have to tell you that yesterday the winter started to arrive .. and it’s snowing gentle on us right now.
        Love it. *smile

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