Female Pigeon Horntail
aka "Pigeon Tremex" and "Wood Wasp"
1.5 inches long (excluding ovipositor)
The neighbor kids brought this thing to me after they had rousted it from the back of their basketball standard
while spraying for wasps. It flew right at the boy with the wasp spray so he panicked and sprayed it until
it was stiff as a board. They brought it to me to identify and I had no idea what it was. © Carol Davis 9-9-2009
Bugguide.net identified it for me as a female Pigeon Horntail and I was told they couldn't sting although they
can try to bite if mishandled. The part on the end of the abdomen (curved upward) that looks like a stinger
is not one but it does give the insect its name of "horntail". The long extended part beyond the "horn" at the
end of their body is an ovipositor for laying eggs in trees. © Carol Davis 9-9-2009
Look at those chompers! © Carol Davis 9-9-2015
read somewhere that once the eggs are laid, the wasp dies and leaves the ovipositor in the tree.
you see a wasp sticking out of a tree, it just might be a horntail. Eric Eaton has an
informative article about these fascinating insects.
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