This female Ichneumon Wasp has an ovipositor that is about as long as she is.
A type of wasp, Spilopteron formosum has the hallmark black and yellow coloring typical of this type of insect. The straight, pointy ovipositor on the tip of the female's abdomen is often mistaken for a tremendously long stinger. It is not a stinger; it is her biological tool for injecting her precious, fertilized eggs deep into tree trunks to protect them from predators. She typically goes about her natural business, alighting on logs, trees, and wood piles, taking little notice of people watching her.
This species of Ichneumon has clear markings on the transparent wings. Each tip has a black mark as does the outer edge. Black veins cut across the wing. The long antennae are black with a wide yellow band at near the center. The legs are mostly yellow with some black on them, usually on the long 'thighs'. Look for this species of wasp around woodlands during the summer, and be sure to check tree stumps and logs before sitting down on them.
Scientific Name: Spilopteron formosum
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 40mm (0.78in to 1.56in)
Colors: black; yellow
Descriptors: long tail; long stinger; wasp; flying; black wing tips; yellow on eyes
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.