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(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Horntail

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Siricidae

Pest Status: Horntail wasps are seldom found in sufficient numbers to be considered pests.

Appearance: Adults resemble typical wasps, but each has a long abdomen with a spear-like plate on the last abdominal segment. They are relatively large and vary in length from 1/2 to 3/4-inch. The females are marked with bright yellow and black and have long ovipositors. Males are mostly black.

Life Cycle: Females deposit their eggs in "drilled" holes in the bark of trees. The larvae hatch and bore down into the tree, living there for up to two years before they pupate. When the adults emerge, they leave small holes in the timber.

Where to Collect: Horntails can be found where there are many dead, dying, or recently felled trees.