Flying Sap Eating bug?
Location: Long Island, NY
July 26, 2011 6:38 pm
This bug looks like some sort of dragon fly. If you look closely you will see 2 loops coming over the tail and then come together between the hind legs. This stick looking appendage? was then inserted into a round hole in the tree which looked like a hole made from a and or termite. The holes were as much as 2 inches deep. At the end of the tail where the 2 ”loops start looked like some sort of organ moving/pulsing. I think either the bug was eating the sap of this maple tree which was exposed by these holes or maybe laying eggs. What is it?
This is a Giant Ichneumon in the genus Megarhyssa, probably Megarhyssa macrurus. As trees age, portions of them begin to die and they become susceptible to disease and infestation. One of the insects that targets old and weak trees is the Pigeon Horntail, a wood wasp whose larva bore in the wood. Your creature, a Giant Ichneumon, is a parasite whose larvae feed on the larvae of the Pigeon Horntail. This female Giant Ichneumon is ovipositing. She will lay her eggs on or near the wood boring larva of the Pigeon Horntail, which she senses beneath the bark. Giant Ichneumons will not harm your tree, but you should know that your tree has already been compromised and is in a state of decline, however, it may still live for many years.