Subject: What in the world is this?!
Location: Castle Rock, CO
July 30, 2012 3:08 pm
Hi, We found this flying around our kids trampoline enoclosure today..very big and loud! Is that a stinger on its backside?? Would love to know what this is and is it as harmful as it looks?
Signature: The DeYoung Family

Pigeon Horntail

Dear DeYoung Family,
This Pigeon Horntail is a type of Wood Wasp, and what resembles a stinger is actually the ovipositor, the organ the female uses to lay eggs.  Pigeon Horntails do not sting people.  The ovipositor is used to deposit eggs under the bark of dead or dying trees and the larval Pigeon Horntails are wood boring insects.  While we do not blame you for killing what might have appeared to be a harmful insect, we hope that in the future you will remember that Pigeon Horntails are harmless and the larvae help to break down dead trees so that the nutrients can be reabsorbed into the soil.

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Location: Colorado

4 Responses to Pigeon Horntail: Unnecessary Carnage

  1. william h monroe says:

    My wife and I just found the same type of wasps here in Michigan could anybody tell me what their range is

  2. Lisa I Raeker says:

    I found one in Owensville Mo

  3. Mhairi says:

    I found one in Illinois. Scared us to death at first!

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