You can see the ovipositor on this Myathropa florea .


The ovipositor is a tubular structure that is used for laying eggs. The ovipositor is attached to the abdomen of insects and the eggs pass down the tube. In parasitoids the ovipositor can be used to pierce the skin of another animal, such as a caterpillar, and the egg of the parasitoid can then be laid inside the host organism. Insects that possess ovipositors include many of the solitary wasps, crickets and many species of fly. The species of bees, ants and wasps that sting (remember that not all bees, ants and wasps sting) do so using a modified ovipositor.


What is Taxonomy?

Taxonomy is the science of naming, describing and classifying organisms and includes all plants, animals and microorganisms of the world. Using morphological, behavioural, genetic and biochemical observations, taxonomists identify, describe and arrange species into classifications, including those that are new to science.

Some thing I need to learn more about

Indispensable Hymenoptera

Hymenoptera are a group of insects that do so much good for us and our environment, Bees pollinate, Wasps and Hornets control pests and Ants recycle plant matter and dead insects etc .

Our planet would not be the same without this important group.

“The Hymenoptera are the third largest orders of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees and ants. Over 150,000 species are recognized, with many more remaining to be described”

Identifying male and female Hornets



Above a male hornet which has 13 segments to its antennae and 7 segments to their abdomen.

Below a female hornet which has 12 segments to her antennae and 6 segments to her abdomen.


Males also don’t have a sting although I didn’t know that when I got the one to sit on my finger.



European Hornet (Vespa crabro) head showing the three ocelli positioned between the two compound eyes.


Ocelli (singular Ocellus) are simple photo-receptors (light detecting organs). They consist of a single lens and several sensory cells. Unlike compound eyes, ocelli do not form a complex image of the environment but are used to detect movement. Most arthropods possess ocelli.

Taken on my bug hunt today, I have been searching all year for a hornets nest and now at the end of the season I found one. I saw Many hornets hunting up and down a hedgerow so I followed them in one direction and tried to see if they were heading home and luckily they were I found a nest in a old willow tree.

A.R.Wallace Quote

“The beauty and brilliancy of this insect are indescribable, and none but a naturalist can understand the intense excitement I experienced when I at length captured it. On taking it out of my net and opening the glorious wings, my heart began to beat violently, the blood rushed to my head, and I felt much more like fainting than I have done when in apprehension of immediate death. I had a headache the rest of the day, so great was the excitement produced by what will appear to most people a very inadequate cause.” A.R.Wallace

Couldn’t put it better myself

Cerceris sp of wasp (Garden)


Cerceris quinquefasciata or Cerceris ruficornis without a Sample the ID can go no further.

From one of the guys that helps me ID my finds “C. quinquefasciata is expanding in East Anglia and I would certainly expect to find it around Cambridge and C.ruficornis is at many calcareous sites in Norfolk so could easily be on the Cambs chalk.”


One of the ways to get some insects down to a genus is to look at the wing cells for Cerceris are cells 3 and 5 touching and cell ten in contact with 4 and 5 of course you need the key out of the solitary wasp field guide for any of this to make sense.