; suborder Symphyta, superfamily Siricoidea)
Family of Hymenoptera which have very large ovipositors used in wood boring. Most are 25–35 mm long, but some may be up to 50 mm. Adults are usually black or brownish, and sometimes metallic or with dark wings. The abdomen has an apical, large, dorsal spine, the ovipositor of the female being positioned below the spine. Eggs are laid under the surface, the larvae penetrating deeply into the host tree (particularly in coniferous species). The larvae have a long developmental period, sometimes emerging as adults after the timber has been used for building or furniture construction. Some species can cause serious economic damage.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.