These are the wood wasps. The adults are 12-18 mm long, cylindrical, and the ovipositor sheath is seldom longer than the last abdominal tergite. They are reddish brown, black, and yellow or entirely black. Full-grown larvae are 12-15 mm long, subcylindrical and somewhat S-shaped. The larva head lacks ocelli and has a three- or four-segmented antenna; the thorax has three fleshy legs; the last segment of the abdomen has sclerotized, toothed processes. Larvae feed on sound to partly decayed hardwoods and are dependent on symbiotic fungi. They are not known to be active in structural timber, but may occur indoors in firewood.

Species in the USA and Canada include: Xiphydria abdomin-alis, which is found in basswood, maple, and elm from southern Canada to North Carolina and Iowa; X. maculata (Fig. รง.id), which is found in maple in Canada and throughout the USA, except the Gulf states; X. tibialis, which is found in elm, birch, beech, and hawthorn in southeastern Canada and northeastern USA; X. hicoriae, which is found in hickory and elm in southeastern Canada and northeastern USA; and X. millipes, which is found in beech, birch, and alder trees across southern Canada and northern USA. The species that occur in the UK feed on birches and willows, and include Xiphydria prolongata and X. camelus.Theaulacid (Aulacidae) wasp, Aulacusstriatus,attacks the larvae of X. camelus.

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