Wasps, fungi and directional drilling

The first time you see a female Western Giant Ichneumon wasp flying around the Kimberley Nature Park, you will likely be a bit nervous about the length of the "stinger" trailing behind its abdomen. Fortunately for humans, the stinger is really an egg-laying device (ovipositor) -- these parasitic wasps have no interest in large mammals like us. They are, however, quite interested in the larvae of the horntail wood wasp. This large and colourful ichneuomon was found on a tree in Forest Crowne just outside the park boundary. Horntails have a fascinating life cycle that begins when a female uses its own ovipositor to drill into a conifer tree and lay an egg beneath the bark. As the egg is laid,

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