NS3581 : Greater Horntail (Urocerus gigas)

taken 7 years ago, 3 km from Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Greater Horntail (Urocerus gigas)
Greater Horntail (Urocerus gigas)
This is a large insect; at about 4cm long, it is a little over twice as long as the Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris). It appears wasp-like, and is sometimes called a Wood Wasp, or Greater Horntail Wasp, but it is really a kind of sawfly. It does not sting; the feature which gives rise to its common name is an ovipositor, used to lay eggs in coniferous wood (see NS3581 : Logging in progress for context).

See LinkExternal link (at UK Safari) for other pictures, and for more information. The scientific name is more or less equivalent to the common name "greater horntail", and incorporates the Greek elements "gigas" (giant), "oura" (tail), and "keras" (horn).

[The order Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants, and related insects) is divided into two suborders: the Symphyta (sawflies, including the greater horntail), and the Apocrita (bees, wasps, and ants). Only the Apocrita have the narrow "wasp waist".]
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NS3581, 47 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 19 August, 2011   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 24 August, 2011
Geographical Context
Woodland, Forest 
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Closeup  Life 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 358 817 [100m precision]
WGS84: 56:0.0139N 4:38.0779W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 358 817
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
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Other Tags
Insect  Horntail  Wood Wasp 

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