Ophion obscuratus


Length: 15 to 22 mm. Ophion obscuratus is identified the pale stripes on the thorax and by pale corners of the 'stigma' (the dark mark on the leading edge of the forewing). Many species of Ophion 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

Similar Species

Other Ophion species - but none with the pale thoracic stripes.

Photo ID?
When to see it

Nearly all year as it flies through the winter. Absent only in June and July. It is attracted to light so often found in moth traps.

Life History

Females lay their eggs in the caterpillars of various noctuid moths. Because of this, they have no need of the long ovipositors which many of the other ichneumons need to reach deep-seated wood-boring larvae.

UK Status

A fairly common species in Britain

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map