Females with long syringe-like ovipositors may strike fear in humans, but these 'tails' are designed to bring forth life, not ruin someone's day.
Ovipositors on females Giant Ichneumon Wasps double the length of the actual wasp. The skinny, tube-like ovipositor is not a stinger and cannot sting. It is somewhat flexible near the abdomen, but rigid enough at its tip to pierce tree bark and wood allowing the female to deposit her fertilized egg inside of the tree and not on it. Two benefits of this are protection for the eggs from the elements and predators, and close proximity to a food source. This species of wasp is actually a parasite of another species of wasp, the Pigeon Tremex, a type of Horntail that also injects its eggs into tree bark. The Giant Ichneumon female searches for holes that already harbor a Horntail larva. She will then inject her egg on it, or next to it. Her larva will feed on the Horntail until it is ready to pupate. Winged adults emerge from the tree.
Scientific Name: Megarhyssa macrurus
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 29mm to 51mm (1.13in to 1.99in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees and Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.