Subject: Wasp like bug?
Location: Rockville, MD
April 4, 2017 2:31 pm
We recently discovered a lot of these wasp-like bugs near the front windows of our house. They range in size from 1/4″ to 1″ and seem to walk more than they fly. Their antennae wave around rapidly too. I tried looking up parasitic wasps and various nymphs but have come up empty. Would love to know what these guys are!
Signature: Audrey

Xiphydriid Wood Wasp

Dear Audrey,
We found your Wasp in our archives where we identified it as a Spotted Wood Wasp,
Xiphydria maculata, though once we turned to BugGuide, we discovered this species does not have a common name.  BugGuide indicates it “Prefers maples.”  Of the family Xiphydriidae, BugGuide states:  “The larvae bore in the dead or decaying wood of deciduous trees.”  According to Connecticut Wilderness:  “A parasitic wood wasp. Wood wasps drill into a tree by using an ovipositor. This is a tube which is like a needle. It contains two interlocking valves. Each valve is covered with teeth that are backward- facing. Black and white/cream colored.  Reportedly prefers maple trees.”  Perhaps you have some maple firewood in the house, or perhaps you have recently acquired a piece of furniture that was infested with wood boring larvae that emerged inside your home.

Xiphydriid Wood Wasp

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! We brought some wood in from some branches that dropped in our yard and we do have a maple, so that makes sense.

Xiphydriid Wood Wasp

Location: Rockville, Maryland

One Response to Xiphydriid Wood Wasp

  1. John Bell says:

    I just found some Xiphydriid Wood Wasps near Rochester Michigan May 23 2017 never saw one before had to search the net but got an ID they were on a box containing maple fire wood, they almost do not look like a wasp and they walk around calmly.

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