GIANT WOOD WASP
©Jon and Family
The dozen species of wood wasps in California, Oregon, and Washington look similar. They are large insects, generally 1 inch or longer, and are wasplike in appearance but have an elongated, cylindrical body without a noticeable constriction or “waist.” They often are black or metallic dark blue or in combinations of black, red, and yellow.
They make a noisy buzz when flying.
The male and female have a similar body shape, except the female is larger and has a long egg-laying apparatus (ovipositor) that can exceed her body length. The female can use her ovipositor only for egg laying; she can’t use it to sting in defense. Although these pests can chew through wood, they don’t bite people.
A female wood wasp drills her ovipositor nearly 3/4 inch into the wood of a weakened or dying tree and lays 1 to 7 eggs. At the same time, she squirts in a fungus from her abdominal gland. She continues this process, laying up to 200 eggs.
Eggs hatch in 3 to 4 weeks, and larvae tunnel into the fungus-predigested wood parallel with the grain. Larvae are legless, cylindrical, whitish, and have a spine at the tip of their last abdominal segment. As they chew, larvae use a spine at the tip of their abdomen to help push themselves forward, through the wood. Larvae begin eating the softer wood (sapwood) just beneath the bark, following the fungus into the heartwood, then return to the sapwood to complete their feeding.
Larval feeding continues through 5 or more immature stages, which take at least a year and as many as 5 years in cooler climates to complete. The tunnel, or gallery, usually measures 10 to 12 inches long at completion.
Pupation takes place at the end of the gallery. After 5 or 6 weeks as a pupa, the adult emerges by chewing through about 3/4 inch of wood, leaving a round exit hole 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter.
For @lordwozz, please let me know if this could be what you were asking about…it doesn’t look similar to the description, but the behavior is similar…
Fact Source: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7407.html
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