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Contributors » Tclenche » timberfly

timberfly discovered by Tclenche (#7395)

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Sighting Info

Observed: September 13, 2015 @ 6:30 PM
Posted on: September 20, 2015 @ 12:33 PM (diff: 7 days)
I am assuming that is what it is. we killed in excess of 25 while sawing firewood in our yard.

Sighting's Identification

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Newfoundland Nature

Newfoundland Nature

Comments by Site Members (scroll to post comment)

By sam on 9/30/2015 8:59:20 PM

Yeah, they are Timber Flies alright. I had A first hand experience with one when I was 11 years old. Dad was sawing green wood, (wood that was recently cut), and one stung me on the cheek of the arse, oops, ( backside). never will forget that pain. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Tclenche on 9/30/2015 9:04:32 PM

i was stung on the back of my leg when i was 20.
nothing , more painful. we killed 35 while sawing off firewood this year. many more got away!

By sam on 9/30/2015 9:27:00 PM

We're on the same page, bet many others are too!!!! chuckle!!! AW!!

By Barry Hicks on 9/30/2015 11:28:45 PM

Guys, I have been curious about people's description of stings by these wasps.   The literature suggests that they do not sting.  They lay their eggs in wood and they do not have poison glands (unlike other wasps - i.e. yellow jacket wasps).  They do not have a nest that they would protect.  Instead the are solitary where the females search out trees to lay their eggs in.  They should not be aggressive towards humans.  Upon saying that, I could see how one of these wasps may poke you with their stingers if they got caught under your clothing or if you picked it up in your hand.   The stinger is quite large in diameter so a poke in the skin by the stinger would feel like getting a hypodermic needle.

Is it possible that you were stung by yellowjackets?  Some species nest in or near the ground surface and loggers often encounter them frequently.  If fact, years ago while i was working in the woods, the silviculturists in the same camp called the yellowjackets "timber flies".    

By sam on 10/1/2015 12:12:49 AM

Barry, coul;d you tell me what a yellow jacket is. ??? better post a photo of a yellow jacket. how big are they, and what color are they.

By sam on 10/2/2015 8:20:49 PM

Barry, I am confused. you refer to the Timber flies as Wasps. the ones I am talking about looks nothing like Wasps. they are 1" to 1-1/2 inches long and are b lack with white spots/strips on the legs. the one that stuck in me was more than 1-1/2 inches long. it landed on my jeANS AND IMMEDIATELY STABBED ME THROUGH IT. my brother killed it. also one would hear it coming by the flutter sound of it's wings. that makes me shudder to this day. I don't know what the official name is.

By Barry Hicks on 10/3/2015 5:50:27 PM

Hi Sam,  "Timberflies" belong to a group of wasps commonly known elsewhere as horntails and woodwasps.  They belong to the suborder Symphyta.  They lay eggs in wood and have that large ovipositor "stinger" to drill into wood to place the eggs in there.  As I mentioned above, they do not have poison glands associated with the stinger and they don't have a nest to defend.  It sure sounds like you were stung by this kind of insect (from your description).  When you were stung, what did it feel like?  Was it just a momentary painful needle-like jab or a longer lasting pain that built up over a few minutes then slow easier off?  The yellow jacket wasps and/or bee stings will be painful for 15minutes or more after the sting.  That is because of the venom that they inject in as they sting.  The pain caused by the venom is a mechanism to get the vertebrate away from the nest.   There are a couple of yellowjackets species that are ivory and black however it sounds as tho the timber fly is what stung you.  Thanks for sharing the info.

By sam on 10/3/2015 7:50:26 PM

Thank you, Barry, for the info...I didn't know they were a wasp. so much for my lack of knowledge of insects. A very complete information. We were told when we were young not to meddle with wood that had timber flies around. You have roused my memory. my parents did tell us they lay eggs in trees and if we got stung, then they would lay their eggs when one would sting us. Back to when it stung me. my brother hustled me into the house to mom , "me screeching blue murder' from the pain. mom immediately got some hot water and made a b read poultice and applied it to my sting. that damn well was hot. before applying the poultice, she put Iodine on the sting. that pained like nothing else. coupled with the sting, the hot poultice, man I didn't know what was worse. to tell the truth, Barry, I don't know how long the pain from the sting would've lasted. I do remember that the next day it was pretty good, until Mom tried to remove the poultice, it was dried onto my........flesh. it was sore for another day or two, don't know if it was from the sting, or the Iodine, or the hot poultice!!!!!!!!!!!!!,, or a combination of all three, or the fright of it all!!!!!

By Tclenche on 10/3/2015 9:33:25 PM

when i was stung, i had a large egg shaped lump on my leg that lasted several days. i am scared to death of those things now!

By darrell on 6/27/2020 1:24:07 AM

Just curious as a NL resident haven't seen one in Year's they're quite dangerous if they sting you? Sawvone last 2 Day's 

By Tclenche on 6/27/2020 8:08:28 PM

Some people say that Timber Flies are dangerous, some say that they can actually kill those with reactions to them. I was floating on the water one day when i was stung in the left leg. I was unable to walk for several days. Driving a standard shift to get home required a broom handle.

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