Yellow-horned horntail (Urocerus flavicornis)

It's that time of year when the yellow-horned horntails are emerging but don't let their looks deceive you, they are gentle giants! Horntails are related to wasps but cannot sting. Instead, that long projection on the back of the females is called an ovipositor, which they use to lay their eggs beneath the bark of dying or freshly cut trees. Some key features to help you identify a yellow-horned horntail are 1 - long, bright yellow antennae, 2- bright yellow eyes, and 3 - a tube-like body shape. Check out the photo below to see the features of our local yellow-horned horntail.

The yellow-horned horntail is a natural part of our forest ecosystem here in Alaska but is frequently mistaken for the Asian giant hornet (AGH) due to its size and bright striping. AGH has not been found in Alaska, but we do appreciate that folks are keeping an eye out for exotic organisms.

Posted by awenninger awenninger, July 28, 2021 20:54


Fascinating! Where do they live?

Posted by classreptilia 2 months ago (Flag)

All throughout Alaska, but also throughout Canada and many lower-48 states as well. You can see a range map here:

Posted by awenninger 2 months ago (Flag)


Posted by classreptilia about 2 months ago (Flag)

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