Females appear to have two menacing stingers, but one is actually an ovipositor. The thick ovipositor is a tube used to directly inject eggs into tree trunks and other durable wood where they are less likely to found and eaten by other insects. That sturdy spine aids in splitting the wood before the eggs are laid.
Larvae hatch inside the wood and tunnel through it, emerging as adults. Adults drink nectar and water. Both genders of Horntail Wasp species have spines at the tip of their abdomen.
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Common name: Horntail Wasp
Scientific Name: Various species
Adult Size (Length): 18mm to 40mm (0.71in to 1.57in) COMPARE
Identifying Colors: black; yellow; orange; brown
General Description: stinger, stinging, flying
North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico
* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.