The “tookaphotofly”

I posted some photos of this insect on facebook for my friends to enjoy*, labeling it “Sawfly”. To which one of my clever friends quipped, “And tookaphotofly.”  Which I thought was hilarious.  (My friends are the coolest.)

Anyway, the sawflies are a group of insects within the order Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps), which lack the characteristic “wasp-waisted” constriction between the abdomen and thorax.  I’ve mentioned them in the context of forest pests before.

Tremax columba, the Pigeon Tremax

Tremax columba, the Pigeon Tremax

This beautiful specimen is a representative of the family Siricidae, or the Horntails.  And indeed, at 5cm, this particular species is among the longest of the Hymenopterans. They are named for this strong, projecting spike at the end of the abdomen.  It is not the ovipositor.

They are named for this strong, projecting spike at the end of the abdomen. (Not the ovipositor, which is red, but the yellow spike above it.)

The horntails are among the wood wasps, which lay their eggs inside wood.  The impressive ovipositor is a tool to help them drill through tree trunks.

Kinda cute from the front!

Kinda cute from the front!

*well, I enjoy posting them anyway.

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