Friday, November 21, 2014

Giant woodwasp

The Giant Woodwasp or Greater Horntail (Urocerus gigas) is a species of Sawfly. These large wasps are found in forested areas. They look intimidating, but they are actually harmless.

Female woodwasps lay their eggs in trees. Each of sometimes 350 eggs is laid singly in a hole that she pierces in the wood. The larvae bore further into the wood and live in the tree for up to two years, possibly more. They typically migrate to just under the bark before pupation. Adult woodwasps sometimes emerge indoors from timber used for building.

The male wasps practice a behavior that is called ‘hilltopping’. They are collectively waiting for females atop rocky edges.

Researchers have been inspired by the egg-laying apparatus (ovipositor) of the female wood wasp. They have created a neurosurgical probe that works on the same principle.

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