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Giant Wood Wasp *For Julia (runnerduck)*

Giant Wood Wasp *For Julia (runnerduck)*
Photo Information
Copyright: Joe Kellard (joey) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-07-08
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon Powershot S3 IS
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dedications at TrekNature Part Two [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-07-09 1:38
Viewed: 4285
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I've dedicated this to Julia (runnerduck) for her immense help in getting me started in macro photography. She offered to give me a Raynox DCR 150 for free and went through all the trouble of posting it to me. This is the least I could do back. :)
I found this huge wasp (5cm long) flying around my back garden. It was so huge I mistook it for a dragonfly!!!
Horntail or wood wasp is the common name for any of the 100 non-social species of the family Siricidae, of the order Hymenoptera, a type of xylophagous sawfly. This family was until recently the sole living representative of the superfamily Siricoidea, a group well-represented in early Tertiary and Mesozoic times, but the family Anaxyelidae has recently been linked to this group. The last tergite of the female abdomen has a strong, projecting spike, thus giving the group its common name (the ovipositor is typically longer and also projects posteriorly, but it is not the source of the name). A typical adult horntail is brown, blue or black with yellow parts in colour, and may often reach up to 4 cm long. The pigeon horntail (Tremex columba) can grow up to 5 cm long (not counting the ovipositor), among the longest of all Hymenoptera.

Female horntails lay their eggs in trees. The larvae bore into the wood and live in the tree for up to 2 years, possibly more. They typically migrate to just under the bark before pupation.

Watching a wood wasp insert its ovipositor is a fascinating experience. Contrary to the older book quoted below, which refers to a "slight side-to-side motion", the New Zealand wasp pictured here was alternately contracting muscles in its thorax then abdomen to slide the two halves of the ovipositor up and down. Note the spiral groove on the ovipositor, visible on the photograph but not easily to the naked eye.

Thankyou for your comments

rkailas, pirate, PaulH, Jamesp, JORAPAVI, angybone, jmirah, ramthakur, Proframe, fartash, haraprasan, Runnerduck, jaycee, eqshannon, marhowie, mikou, SelenE, Necipp, sily, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To hester: Thanksjoey 1 07-09 13:34
To angybone: Ovipositorjoey 1 07-09 05:15
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Joey

Superb POV and light (catchlight!). Lovely colours as well. Great notes.


Hi Joe
Great: perfect sharpness with very good DOF, lovely BG, very nice compo with enough space in front of the insect and even a very nice catchlight in the eye
Just great

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-07-09 2:51]

Hi Joey,

i really like the lighting here, it highlights this beastie very well. Excellent DOF and a great BG, well done! Nice dedication too.


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-07-09 3:15]

Hi Joey

You keep on getting better. A fantastic POV with great lighting. Focus and colour - excellent as always.


Hola Joe,
Excelente definición con mucho detalle, con una luz muy bien distribuida sin producir esos molestos brillos que suelen aparacer en estos insectos, TFS. Saludos
José Ramón

Wonderful lighting! Great colors again. So that's the little stinger sticking out back?

Great photo...Outstanding color...Excellent detail...TFS

This is a remarkable macro of a wasp, Joe.
The level of improvement in your work is getting impressive day by day.
Very sharp and colourful capture.

Hi Joe,
Great dedication and beautiful gift to Julia.
I'm sure she loves it.
Wonderful light, colors and soft background.
Thanks for sharing,
Best regards, Harry

Hello Joe
Excellent shot of this Wood Wasp and great dedication :-)
Perfect details,compo and sharpness,
Fantastic colors and POV,Superb shot,friend.

Good Luck

Hi Joe,
A beautiful wasp. But why it is called giant. As you have mentioned in your note it is 4 to 5 cms in length. Do these type of wasps are that much long.
this was about 6 to 7 cms long including its antennae. Anyway a very good capture. and beautiful composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Ah thanks Joe, I'm really really touched. I think this is my first ever dedication and will go into my favourites immediately!
This is a pretty impressive shot (god you're brave!), great detail, nice low pov and I really like the green in the bg.
Good work and thank you again :o)))

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-07-09 8:20]

Hi Joe,

Wonderful macro of this Wood Wasp. Excellent colors, good details and great notes. Looks great against the background.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-07-09 8:30]

Hello Joe,
Nice to see this species of Wood Wasp captured so well in thi shot: It's a long time since I last saw one.
Excellent lighting, sharpness and composition.
TFS and best regards, Ivan

One of your best Joey. I sure got in here late today...have a lot of catching up to do...but be assured your spot on with this picture.


  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-07-09 12:46]
  • [+]

Hi Joey

Nicely sharp, excellent POV and and stunning DOF. The colours are jewel-like.

How are you finding the Raynox? I have just ordered the DCR-250 from Ebay for about £25. I haven't got it yet but I thought for that price I would get it and have a play



  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-07-10 1:33]

Joey, Lovely shot but slightly dark (can be ignored for the quality of the picture) Well done and TFS Ganesh

Hi Joe,
That Raynox 150 gets around..I believe I sold it to Julia back in 05. I like the POV and composition, well exposed with great colors/BG. Great details and notes,
Well done!

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-07-10 5:50]

Hi Joe.
Very good detailed capture of this Giant Wood Wasp.Composition,POV and details are great.Wonderful colors and very nice blurry BG too.Well done.
TFS,with greeting Milos.

Hello Joe was a nice gesture for an extremely kind lady, you did a great job of the shot also fine focus and details great light tfs rgds Necip

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-07-11 1:18]

Hi Joe,
Composition, colors and POV are very good. TFS

  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2007-07-11 13:42]

HI Joe!
Outstanding macro with clear colors, nice POV and great light and compo!

Hi Joe,

A nice close-up image of the giant wood wasp, the photo has a good composition, sharpness and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.


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