Monday, 3 September 2007

The strange insect in the car.

In aletter posted to Fortean Times magazine (March 1998), a William C. Turner wrote of a peculiar encounter with a mysterious insect.

"While driving on the M4 near Junction 4 (Heathrow) in Mid- December (1997 ?) I noticed an insect buzzing around the car. At 70 mph overtaking on the offside lane, it's obviously dangerous to try and swat an agile bug, but I have an aversion to things flying around my head, so I tried to dispatch it. It was reddish, about one inch long, with a similar wingspan, quite fast in flight, aggressive and seemingly tough as I bashed it a couple of times and it still came back at me.

I am familar with ordinary wasps, hornets and horseflies, but this was unlike anything I have seen before. I finally got a good hit in but, when pulling up at traffic lights, I couldn't find a corpse. On getting home I cleared the interiotr of the car hoping to find the body, or some eggs/larvae/chrysalis - in case the car's heater had caused some overwitnering pupae to hatch - but I found nothing. "

Several issues later, a handful of people identified the insect as the Ichneumon Fly (Ophion luteus) also known as the Yellow Ophion, the insect normally appearing as reddish-orange.

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