Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Wood wasp

Photo by Mary Cooper

Photo by Mary Cooper

Sirex noctilio Fabricius

Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Siricidae

Size range

  • Large insect, up to 35 mm long


  • Arrived from Europe before 1900, now established throughout New Zealand

Life History

  • Eggs are deposited by females in sapwood of pine trees, introducing a fungus at the same time
  • Usually less vigorous trees are attacked
  • The larvae tunnel through infected wood, feeding on the fungus and pupate in a chamber in the wood
  • Adults bore their way to the surface, leaving a sizeable hole, 3–6.6 mm in diameter
  • Adults do not feed, they live on fat stored in their bodies