This impressive specimen was brought to me by Mike Thornton who found it in his sister's garden in Pontypridd. It's a species I have rarely seen and am curious to know if others have seen it locally. Neither of the tail projections sting, the long one being used for inserting eggs in wood, upon which the larvae feed.
ovipositor detail (not sure what the upper
projection is for - possibly copulation?)
Greater Horntail Wasp (Urocerus gigas) belongs to the suborder Symphyta (wood wasps and sawflies) and at around 40mm long is one of our largest insects. The colouring is presumably mimicry of the hornet, which no doubt offers it good protection.