The impressive Pigeon Horntail is a primitive member of the ant/wasp/bee order—Hymenoptera (“membrane wings”). Horntail or wood wasp is the common name for any of the 150 non-social species of the family Siricidae, of the order Hymenoptera, a type of xylophagous sawfly. Most Hymenopterans boast a cinched-in/Scarlet O’Hara waist. Pigeon Horntail. Both genders of Horntail Wasp species have short spines at the tip of their abdomen, but females appear to have two menacing stingers. The ovipositor is a tube used by the female to directly inject eggs into tree trunks and other durable wood where they are less likely to be found and eaten by other insects. The thick, long 'stinger' is actually an ovipositor. Siricidae has two sub families, Siricinae and Tremecinae. Although it looks intimidating, the Pigeon Tremex is a horntail and is not naturally aggressive, unlike wasps. Siricinae infest needle-leaved trees and Tremecinae infest broad-leaved trees… Not so the horntail; its cylindrical abdomen plugs directly into its cylindrical thorax. Females have ovipositors that can be as long as their entire body. This family was formerly believed to be the sole living representative of the superfamily Siricoidea, a group well represented in Paleogene and Mesozoic times, but the family Anaxyelidaehas been linked to this group as well. This ovipositor looks similar to a needle and is used by the female to inject her eggs through the tough bark of trees. The thicker, longer one is actually an ovipositor.
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