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Insect Identification

Horntail Wasp - (Various species)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/21/2014

Horntail Wasps look like they can deliver a wicked sting, but that stout syringe is actually for laying eggs.

Picture of Horntail Wasp
Pic of the Horntail Wasp
Image of the Horntail Wasp
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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.

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Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Common name: Horntail Wasp
Scientific Name: Various species

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Hymenoptera
      Family: Siricidae
       Genus: Various
        Species: 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.

NOTE: Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...). Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Email corrections / Comments to InsectIdentification at Gmail dot com.