What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

New Ichneumon for your site?
I’ve been perusing your site and just can’t get enough! Great photos, quick and entertaining wit, and solid information. Your dedication shows! Thanks for doing this : ) Now on to our bug in question. My daughter and I spotted this lovely insect on one of our many outdoor "expeditions" for fun. On Sept. 18, 2005 this beauty was clearly laying eggs in the lichen-laden bark of a tree near the banks of the Fox River in northern Illinois (Aurora IL). I have been unable to find a photo of it on your site and was hoping you’d further identify it for me. An interesting thing to mention was that within it’s vicinity, within inches, there were two ovipositors stuck in the bark, minus the insects’ bodies! When I tried to pull them out they wouldn’t budge and broke off. Dummy me, should have taken pictures first. Do you know if these insects commonly die while depositing their final eggs or sometimes get their ovipositors stuck? At the base of the tree we did find the dried-up body of another of these insects, minus the ovipositor.
Thanks so much!
Michelle & Becky N.
Lily Lake, IL

Hi Michelle and Becky,
This is a Pigeon Horntail, Tremex columba, the host insect of the Giant Ichneumon. Horntails are Sawflies, wasp relatives. They have wood boring larvae that the larval Ichneumons use for food. We have heard reports of both Horntails and Ichneumons dying in childbirth, dying with their ovipositors stuck in a trunk.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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