Subject: Unidentified Bug
Location: Saigon, Vietnam
April 15, 2014 4:14 am
Can you identify this flying insect and where they are likely to have originated?
These were found in slatted crates in a shipping container from SE Europe. There were about 10 of these about 25mm long. Some were still alive and there was evidence of wood dust alongside.
April 2014.
Signature: K. Ginty

Wood Wasp

Wood Wasp

Dear K. Ginty,
This is a Giant Wood Wasp, and it resembles
Uroceros gigas, a species found in Europe.  Based on your observations, and the known habits of this species, it is highly likely that the individuals you found were imported with the crate and that they were most likely living as larvae in the wood when the crates were assembled.  There are, however, several subspecies found in Asia.  According to the Pest Reports EXPOR Database:  “Three subspecies of Urocerus gigas are found in Asia. U. g. gigas occurs in Russian Siberia and Kamchatka. U. g. orientalis occurs in China, Japan, Korea and Asian Russia (Far East, Kamchatka and Sakalin) and U. g. tibetanus is known only from Tibet (China).”  Despite there presence in Asia, it is our strong opinion that the specimens you found were imported.

Good evening Daniel,
Thank you for the quick response on this – mightily impressed.
I will tell my colleagues in Vietnam.
These scared them somewhat to say the least.
Thank you once again.

You are most welcome Kevin.  Also, though it looks quite formidable, that ovipositor is harmless and to the best of our knowledge, the Giant Wood Wasp cannot sting.

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Location: Saigon, Vietnam

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