Today was another first for me. I spotted several of these strange looking insects and wondered if they would sting me or not. I found that I was observing a Giant Ichneumon Wasp drilling a hole in a dead tree to lay eggs.
The Inchneumon Wasp can be found on dead trees and tree stumps. The female is actually looking for the pigeon horntail grubs
- so she can lay her eggs that will eventually hatch and eat the horntail - both of these are stingless wasps. Her long tail is longer than her body and is called an ovipositor.
The female uses the ovipositor to drill into the wood of a tree and then arches her back and her abdomen follows the ovipositor to the hole in the tree and deposits her eggs.
The male is not a colorful as the female and his abdomen is smaller and more slender. I hope to get pictures of a male now that I know where to find the females! These are very interesting insects - with the typical three body parts (head, thorax and abdomen), 6 segmented legs and pairs of wings. The big difference in these insects from other insects is the ovipositor.