Subject: unknown bug
Location: Southern Pennsylvania
October 13, 2012 6:19 pm
I had this bug, and was going to use it for an insect project due at school, but know one could figure out what it was. I thought it was a bee at first, but then I saw that it had two sets of wings. the head and thorax look good but the abdomen is crazy.
Signature: cary

Pigeon Horntail

Hi cary,
Normally we don’t respond to desperate pleas for assistance from students and their parents when they need identifications immediately, but your question has some very astute deductions.  This is a Pigeon Horntail, and it is in the same insect order as bees, Hymenoptera, which includes wasps and ants as well as sawflies, wood wasps and parasitoid Hymenoptera.  This female Pigeon Horntail is a Wood Wasp and she is a female.  She uses the stingerlike ovipositor at the end of her abdomen to deposit eggs into dead and dying hardwood.

Location: Pennsylvania

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