Urocerus gigas (giant woodwasp, banded horntail, greater horntail) is a species of sawfly, native to the Palearctic realm and North Africa.Adults are usually between 10 and 40 millimetres (1 ⁄ … Special features: Great Wood Wasps are often mistaken for Hornets because they look similar to a wasp but considerably larger. The Cimbicidae are medium to large, dumpy species with antennae that end in a club. Females are 15–35mm long and males are 13–32mm long.
The female uses her long, stinger-like ovipositor to lay eggs in pine trees, where the larvae then develop.
Sawflies, as the name suggests, possess a saw-like ovipositor that has a sharp edge with teeth (or teeth upon teeth) to saw into leaves or trees to lay eggs.
There are approximately 500 species present in Britain.
Long, tubular bodies have prominent yellow bands at the end of the abdomen. The last tergite of the abdomen has a strong, projecting spike, thus giving the group its common name of horntail. The female Great Wood Wasp has a long pointed tube at the back of her body, … The male antennae of the Diprionidae are feathery to detect the sex pheromones of the females; in contrast, the female antennae are serrate to detect chemicals from conifers, the larval food plant.
The larvae of sawflies differ from those of other Hymenoptera in having short, leg-like prolegs under the body, making them resemble butterfly or moth caterpillars.
Females are dark, metallic-blue with amber-coloured legs and wings and have a prominent ovipositor (egg-laying apparatus, 'sting') projecting from below the abdomen. The larvae will tunnel and feed on the wood for up to 2 to 4 years, but if the wood is cut and dried the larval life may be prolonged 7 to 8 years. They may bite when handled - in fact the males of many species have enlarged hind legs and mandibles, which they use in fights with rival males. The Blasticotomidae, of which there is only one very rare species in Britain, bores into ferns, exuding a ball of froth. Males have a blue-black head and front section and an orange abdomen with a dark tip and no 'sting'. These impressive insects are completely harmless.Photograph by Holger Gröschl licensed under Creative Commons. Wood-wasps, also known as giant horntails, are a type of massive sawfly that is related to wasps.
This is a very large (up to 4 cm long) sawfly with a distinctive yellow and black banded abdomen. The larvae of Caliroa ceri (Tenthredinidae) are covered with slime and therefore appear very glossy. Some Wood Wasps form a symbiotic relationship with certain fungi. Wood Wasps are so named because they feed on wood as larvae. They are commonly found in the UK and are seen most frequently in … Greater Horntail Wasp Urocerus gigas (Linnaeus, 1758) A large insect and of fearsome appearance, with even the common name deemed by many as being threatening, just by using the name Wasp. The eggs are laid in the wood of conifers such as Douglas fir, pine, spruce, and larch.
Despite the alarming appearance, the insect cannot sting.
The larvae eat tunnels in the wood, causing economic damage. Some are external feeders that skeletonise leaves. They're sometimes called 'Giant Horntails' for obvious reasons. Bees, Wasps and Ants (Order: Hymenoptera), Copyright © 1997-2020 Amateur Entomologists' Society. Some look very impressive, such as the Greater Horntail (Urocerus gigas), due to their large size and a needle-like ovipositor projecting well beyond the apex of abdomen.
The giant woodwasp or horntail, Urocerus gigas, has a long ovipositor, which with its black and yellow colouration make it a good mimic of a hornet. Some oviposit into the base of flowers and the larvae feed in the developing fruit, which usually falls off when the larva is mature. The insects must have been living in the wooden boxes that the bullets were stored in. Back to the main Bees, Wasps and Ants page. The alarm coloration is often the precursor to unnecessary panic thanks to the stiff 'horntail' at the tip of the abdomen. The suborder Symphyta (Wood Wasps and Sawflies) includes those Hymenoptera which are structurally most primitive. Giant horntail Scientific name: Urocerus gigas With yellow-and-black bands, the giant horntail looks like a large wasp, but is harmless to us. The second part of the name may be confusing as they are not true flies.
Most Sawfly larvae feed on leaves: some are leaf miners (living between the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf), a few make leaf rolls, and some cause galls like the Pontania species (Tenthredinidae) who are responsible for producing the pea or bean-shaped galls on leaves.
If you continue to use this site we'll assume that you're happy with this. The larvae will tunnel and feed on the wood for up to 2 to 4 years, but if the wood is cut and dried the larval life may be prolonged 7 to 8 years. A Greater Horntail (Urocerus gigas) laying eggs within wood using a long ovipositor that is often mistaken for a sting. Some look very impressive, such as the Greater Horntail (Urocerus gigas), due to their large size and a needle-like ovipositor projecting well beyond the apex of abdomen. Though adults appear menacing to humans, Banded Horntails are not aggressive and do not sting nor bite.
One interesting story is that during the Crimean War the larvae of Sirex juvencus (Siricidae) were found chewing their way through lead bullets.
The presence of the fungi in the wood is necessary for the insect's larval development, the fungus being spread from tree to tree by the female ovipositor. Many people believe the long ovipositor is a sting, it is not and these insects are harmless. Many people believe the long ovipositor is a sting, it is not and these insects are harmless.
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