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Photo#299506
Megarhyssa macrurus? - Megarhyssa atrata - female

Megarhyssa macrurus? - Megarhyssa atrata - Female
Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, USA
July 5, 2009
Size: 7" including tail
Series of Megarhyssa macrurus (?) ovipositing on dead tree. There seemed to be two males and one female - the males primarily black in color, the one female brown and yellow. Males went back and forth, walking over the female. Several occasions of drawing the tail and/or ovipostior into the bubble, from both sexes. Wondering if the reproduction is separate, i.e., males deposit, then females deposit or vice versa.

Images of this individual: tag all
Megarhyssa macrurus? - Megarhyssa atrata - female Megarhyssa macrurus? - Megarhyssa atrata - female Megarhyssa macrurus? - Megarhyssa atrata - female

Yes, the first three images
are a pair of M. atrata females. We don't see any males in any of these images. We'll unlink and relink these so they show the same images. Please Edit and uncheck the field for male since there are none.

 
Confused
Confused. There are two different insects in this sereies (taken at the same time in the same 10 inch radius here
): one, primarily black, that you identify as female. One, primarily "striped", brownish and yellow, that you identify as a male. They seem to be relating to each other in order to reproduce. Are the females dimorphic?

 
You have captured two different
species in the genus Megarhyssa. They are all females. Males do not lay eggs and have no need of an ovipositor. The larger M. atrata can drill deeper into the wood and lay her eggs on horntail larva that are deeper. The smaller M. macrurus lays her eggs on horntail larva that are closer to the surface. You can read about the genus here

 
Thanks
That clears it up!

 
Great find!
An embarrassment of riches, enough to confuse anybody.

Looks
more like atrata, but wait for an expert.

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