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Large, thin-bodied wasp. Females are very dark black and yellow. They are parasitoids of wood-boring insects in dead, deciduous trees.
Deciduous forests in eastern North America. I spotted this one at Kent Falls State Park - drilling into a maple tree. I was lucky enough to spot this wasp just as she was getting started, and I stood there for nearly an hour watching this amazing process.
They can parasitize larvae burrowed up to 140 mm in hardwood! A membranous pouch at the abdomen's tip holds the ovipositor while the female lays eggs. When a female is ready to oviposit her eggs, she rotates segments 8 and 9 of her abdomen and unfolds her intersegmentary membranes so that they form a disc 2 cm in diameter. The surface of this disc produces a secretion that disintegrates the wooden substrate and facilitates her ability to insert her ovipositor. After she lays her eggs on the surface of the host larva she completes the same rotational movements to remove her ovipositor from the wood and the stylus returns to its resting position. This entire process takes an hour.
Spotted on Jun 8, 2013
Submitted on Jun 8, 2013
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