• Site updated 04/09/2019

Giant Wood Wasp

Urocerus gigas (Giant woodwaspBanded horntailGreater horntail) 


 A woodland species found throughout the UK, usuall in or near coniferous woods, and from May to October,U. gigas is a wood boring insect which attacks softwoods of freshly felled logs/unhealthy trees. The species leaves discrete tunnels, frequently filled with hard packed coarse fibrous frass, hard to dig out from tunnels. The tunnels are large, round and discrete between 6-7mm.

 Size:  Up to 40mm

Special features:  Great Wood Wasps are often mistaken for Hornets because they look similar to a wasp but considerably larger.

They’re sometimes called ‘Giant Horntails’ for obvious reasons.  The female Great Wood Wasp has a long pointed tube at the back of her body, and this is usually mistaken for a stinging organ.  In fact it’s an ovipositor, which she uses to lay her eggs in the trunks of coniferous trees.  Despite their slightly fearsome appearance, these insects are quite harmless.



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