Pimpla rufipes


Length about 15 mm. A mainly black species, but with bright orange legs, the hind pair of legs being only slightly larger than the other pairs. The ovipositor of the female is quite thick and short and the 'waist' between the thorax and abdomen is also quite short.

Similar Species

Pimpla rufipes can easily be mistaken for Apechthis compunctor being similar in shape and size (10 –15mm), although some Pimpla rufipes are very large. The key difference between the two is in the female ovipositor which in P. rufipes is straight and lacks the downward curved tip. For this reason, the males, which don’t have an ovipositor, are indistinguishable from photographs.

Identification difficulty

Females , Males


Hedgerows and well vegetated areas.

When to see it

Mainly an autumn species.

Life History

Predates butterfly and moth larvae, laying an egg in each one. Adults can sometimes be seen visiting flowers.

UK Status

Quite common and widespread in England and Wales at least, but like many Ichneumonidae it is badly under recorded.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map