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347 Views 2 Replies Last post: Sep 8, 2013 3:24 PM by John RSS
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Sep 7, 2013 1:58 PM

Queen Hornet?

My son lives  on the edge of a  town in Northamptonshire but grew up in the wilds of Devon so is familiar with wildlife and a  reasonably  sober , accurate  observer. Mid-August he found a  bug eating his bird-table! He said it was  orange and brown and  resembled a  Hornet  but was  the size of his middle  finger...I asked him and  he confirmed it was the size of all three joints. It was  eating  the edge of the bird table and  he observed it  remove a  piece  almost the size of a  little finger...he could hear it's  jaws  crunching at the  wood.This  sounds to me like a  Queen Hornet ( I have seen one in spring post-hibernation...it was  formidable!!) but surely  the  Queen  isn't out  collecting  wood pulp in August? My understanding is that at this time of  year it  has  produced  fertile  offspring and  is preparing to die and  leave the fertilised  females to over-winrter. Any suggestions?

 

                                         John

 

P.S. a  poor  photo of the damage is attached

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 8, 2013 12:17 PM (in response to John)
    Re: Queen Hornet?

    Hi

     

    Ask your son if this is what he saw, if so, it's a Greater Horntail (Urocerus gigas) A type of Sawfly that grows to 40mm

    It's totally harmless as it is incapable of stinging. The "Stinger" at the back end is in fact an ovipositor used for laying eggs.

    Commonly called a Wood wasp

     

     

     

    Regards

     

    Habdab

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