Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Look what turned up on the post!

Whilst at my desk this afternoon, I became aware of some wildlife excitement just outside our office. It was apparent that there was a large insect flying around, which, to be fair, is more temptation than a fully paid up member of the British Dragonfly Society can be expected to ignore. Needing no further encouragement, I sidled (ok, ran) out of the building with a list of possible species scrolling through my head.

It soon became apparent that this was no dragonfly and a discussion ensued as to whether it was a Hornet or not. I thought "not" as even with it zipping around above our heads, it did not seem yellow enough. It was big enough though, which puzzled me. Not an odo, probably not a Hornet.

Then it landed on me. Definitely not a Hornet then, but, my, look at the size of that ovipositor. At...least...I...hope...that's...an...ovipositor.

Fortunately, it then flew off again, but I was able to snap a pic when it landed on a vehicle.

Now I know what you're thinking. The big girl's blouse has a pink camera! Sadly not, dear reader, now please concentrate on the teensy insect inches from my hands.

As a Google image search might tell you, if you happened to enter the words "large yellow insect with ovipositor uk", this is a female Greater Wood Wasp or Horntail. She's 4cm long and is actually a sawfly. Despite being quite harmless, she does makes you glad you're not a tree. After terrorising a few more humans, Mrs Horntail was last seen in combat with a rather brave and normal-sized wasp and we returned to our everyday activities, feeling a little less removed from Mother Nature.

4 comments:

Princess said...

Haha thanks for telling me what this is. Chris had one on his leg 2 weeks ago today when we were at Go Ape! He was a bit scared as he thought it was going to sting him, so I HAD to kick his leg to get it off lol. How is my favourite uncle? Lots of love xxx

Imperfect and tense said...

Glad to be of service. They do inspire nervousness in the landee. HAD to kick? Ah, young love. XX

Janells said...

I think I may have seen one of those, never sure whether they bite or not!

Imperfect and tense said...

If ever an insect commanded instant respect, then this is it!