OVIPOSITOR: Female Broad Necked Root Borer

Ed. Note:  Announcing a new tag:  Buggy Vocabulary Words
In an attempt to better educate our readership, we have created a new tag that will better explain some important Buggy Vocabulary Words, beginning with Ovipositor
Here is what the online Webster has to relay:  “a specialized organ (as of an insect) for depositing eggs”.  Future Buggy Vocabulary Words postings will include Phoresy, Metamorphosis and the ever popular Exuvia. 

Location: Monmouth County, NJ
June 13, 2012 6:37 pm
I found this beetle on a juniper shrub in my garden. Not used to seeing such large arthropods in this area. Wondering if it is dining on my shrubs and control measures if that is the case.
Signature: JK

Broad Necked Root Borer

Ed. Note:  This conversation was rescued from the trash.  We will use this to create a new tag for Buggy Vocabulary Words
female root borer, not generally plentiful enough to be a problem.

Dear JK,
This is a female Broad Necked Root Borer,
Prionus laticollis (See BugGuide), and what appears to be a stinger is her ovipositor, an organ adapted to facilitate in the egg laying process.  Generally, the longer the ovipositor, the further the female must bury her eggs. A Stump Stabber, a totally unrelated member of the wasp family might have the longest ovipositor in the insect world, and some female Stump Stabbers in the genus Megarhyssa have ovipositors as long as five inches.  It is believed that in stinging insects like wasps and bees, the ovipositor has evolved into a stinger that the female may use if she is threatened.  It has caused to wildly speculate about the dual purpose of the ovipositor in wasps, and we can’t help but to wonder if a wasp deposits an egg each time she stings and if her venom might somehow serve some other purpose that benefits the egg.  Wouldn’t it be the craziest thing if when a female Tarantula Hawk stings and paralyzes her prey, she might deposit an egg during the stinging process?  That is most likely a crazy thought, but it gives us a reason to link to the Tarantula Hawk as an insect whose sting caused by a modified ovipositor is reported to be among the most painful in the insect world.  We even put the Tarantula Hawk in the coveted first position when we created The Big 5 tag last summer and promptly forgot to inform the webmaster we had a new tag.

1 thought on “OVIPOSITOR: Female Broad Necked Root Borer”

  1. We just found one in Leicester, NC. The compositor had us concerned, looked like a stinger. Thanks to your site we know better.


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