Subject: Huge wasp or hornet
Location: Update New York
August 17, 2013 1:53 pm
What on earth is this massive bug, and is the stinger really half the length of its body??
Signature: Almost stung

Pigeon Horntail Carnage

Pigeon Horntail Carnage

Dear Almost stung [not even],
This is a Pigeon Horntail, a type of Wood Wasp.  What you have mistaken for a stinger is the ovipositor of the female Pigeon Horntail which she drives into the wood of dead or dying trees to lay eggs.  The larvae are wood boring insects.  We are guessing by the grotesque and unnatural position of this dead Pigeon Horntail that it is a victim of Unnecessary Carnage.  In defense of your having mistaken the ovipositor for a stinger, the stingers of bees and wasps are actually modified ovipositors.  In some insects like solitary wasps, the stinger/ovipositor is multipurpose, but in social insects like Honey Bees, the sterile female workers can only sting since they are incapable of laying eggs.  We believe the chances of being stung by this Pigeon Horntail are next to nil, however, if the ovipositor can drive through wood, it might surely be capable of piercing the far softer human skin, but unlike sterile workers in social insect colonies which sting to protect the hive, Pigeon Horntails would have no instincts to protect their young, hence they are not aggressive.

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Location: New York

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