Antennae with white band, legs and abdomen banded yellow. Id from a field guide photo.
No interactions present.
All the advice I've been given suggests that ichneumons are, sadly, very rarely possible to identify to species from photos. Even with a specimen under a microscope it is not easy - there are too many species and not enough keys!
Having said that, someone who has studied the group extensively may be able to go further than me, so I'd be delighted to be proved wrong on this one, and I'd be keen to know how the other species had been ruled out.
Entomologist and biological recorder
Thanks for the feedback. The field guide I used had, of course, a limited no. of species illustrated, hence my choice of stramentarius. After I posted the photos, I visited the BWARS site, and was surprised to see how many more Ichneumon species were listed, so I realised my tentative id was likely to be incorrect! This was the first Ichneumon I've seen, so I'm quite happy with the general id!
I have some photos on my computer of a similar looking insect - I have tagged them as I. stramentarius but will correct that now. Just like you, in my guide to insects there are no other Ichneumons pictured that look similar to the picture of I stramentarius, and no notes to indicate that there are other possible ids.
Yes, some of the insect field guides are great for getting you to somewhere near the correct species, but inevitably they can only illustrate a small proportion of the total number of UK species, and with ichneumons there are hundreds of species to choose from - one reason why I've never managed to make much progress with this group! The large brightly coloured ones always look as if they should be identifiable, and maybe some of them are if you know enough about them, but there is precious little published on them and it's hard to know what the range of appearance is for any one species.
You can download a checklist of the British species of Ichneumonidae from the Biological Records Centre, but it runs to 162 pages (just for the list of names, no pictures!). They also provide a (fairly complicated) key to the subfamilies. Both these can be downloaded from:
(scroll to the bottom of the page under the heading "Taxonomy, phylogenetics and phylogeography")
Lat/Lng: 51.7, -2.6
OS grid ref: SO6302