Cicada Killer captures Cicada

cicada bug being eaten
Location:  Albany NY
August 4, 2010 5:24 pm
dear WTB,
I was on a job site digging a trench for a water main, when I heard a noise in the trees. When I checked it out, there were two bugs that fell. It was a cicada bug which i’ve seen before, and a giant bee looking thing that was attacking, and had the thing in what it looked like was a death grip trying too sting its under belly. My question is are these big bee looking thins dangerous or not. Ive seen them before, bigger than this one. This one is about an inch and a half in length, and smaller than the cicada.
Ty Dan in NY

Cicada Killer and prey

Hi Ty Dan,
Even though your photo is blurry, the distinctive markings and coloration of a Cicada Killer are apparent.  The Cicada Killer,
Sphecius speciosus, is a large wasp that preys upon the Cicada not to feed itself, as the adults feed upon nectar, but to feed the larval brood.  The male Cicada Killer, which does not sting, defends a suitable nesting site and dies soon after mating with a female.  The female lives for several weeks and she digs a burrow that is provisioned with paralyzed Cicadas to feed her brood.  Once the Cicada is stung, it remains alive, but paralyzed, and it is dragged back to the burrow where a single egg is laid upon it.  Each egg gets its own Cicada.  The female often has to climb a tree or other vertical feature while dragging the Cicada, and she then coasts toward her burrow.  Though they are large and frightening looking, we have never received a verified account of a person being stung by a Cicada Killer.

Leave a Comment