Ichneumons are much like their cousins, the stinging wasps, only slenderer and with longer antennae (usually at least half the length of the body, with 16 or more segments). The females usually have dramatically long ovipositors (a needlelike or filament-like appendage at the tip of the abdomen used for laying eggs)—it’s often longer than the entire body.
There are thousands of species of ichneumons in North America, and many are hard to tell apart. Colors vary, with some being drab and others brightly colored or patterned. Some have black and yellow bands like stinging wasps.