June 29, 2014 4:45 pm
This appears to be a wood wasp…. bit the extra long stinger? Wood bore tool? Should I be looking fora nest? Dangerous to me or my dogs?
Signature: cautiously fascinated in Alaska
Dear cautiously fascinated in Alaska,
This is a Giant Ichneumon or Stump Stabber in the genus Megarhyssa, not a Wood Wasp, however, the female Stump Stabber does use her lengthy ovipositor to lay eggs beneath the surface of wood that has been infested with the boring larvae of Wood Wasps, the only food upon which the developing larva of the Giant Ichneumon will feed. They do not build nests as they are solitary parasitoids and they do not pose a danger to you or your dogs, though we admit that any ovipositor that can penetrate wood might be able to penetrate human skin, however, these Giant Ichneumons are not aggressive toward humans.