The Ovipositor

A Long-tailed Giant Ichneumenon Wasp (Megarhyssa macrurus) female. She is sniffing (antennae-ing) out the hosts of her young. She uses this long ovipositor to tuck into dead wood after the larvae of Pigeon Horntails (Tremex columba), another good-sized Hymenopteran. I’ve only seen a Tremex here in Brooklyn once.

Here are two males. They were nearby, and while the female was drilling for host larvae came to check her out.

There are actually three parts to the ovipositor.
Evans says she finds her hosts by the sensing the associated fungi around the larvae. Her ovipositor is in the hole made by the horntail now. That’s one of the males checking the scene out.
Another pass by a male.

Someone who wasn’t standing on a slope looking straight up a hickory made this movie of the whole process.

2 Responses to “The Ovipositor”


  1. 2 Monica M September 1, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    Wow, amazing nature.


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