Pigeon Horntail Ovipositing

Location:  northern wisconsin
August 28, 2010 12:35 pm
just wanted to know what this is

Pigeon Horntail

Dear Clauson’s,
This is a Pigeon Horntail,
Tremex columba, one of the non-stinging Wood Wasps whose larvae bore in wood.  The female Pigeon Horntail in your photo is in the act of ovipositing.  She uses her stingerlike ovipositor to deposit her eggs in diseased wood where the larvae live and feed.  We have gotten some nice recent photos of Giant Ichneumons, which are the primary predator of the Pigeon Horntail.

2 thoughts on “Pigeon Horntail Ovipositing”

  1. I am a wildland firefighter, and I know people that have been stung by what appears to be the horntail woodwasp. It is very painful and your risk of infection is pretty high because when they sting you, they are trying to lay their eggs in you and inject a liquid that is responsible for the breakdown of wood in the trees. Its not fun, and I would recommend that you steer clear of these bugs!


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