Currently viewing the category: "Cicada Killer Wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug
Location: Lake Kiowa, TX
July 4, 2015 4:20 pm
Hi Bugman!
My kids & I are visiting north Texas and we came across this extremely large flying bug. I’m including 2 pics, one for scale.
Signature: Curious Traveller

Deceased Cicada Killer

Deceased Cicada Killer

Dear Curious Traveller [sic],
This magnificent Cicada Killer looks quite dead and we can’t help but to wonder what happened during your encounter to take it from being an “extremely large flying bug” to one that will fly no more.  Cicada Killers are not aggressive and we have never received an authenticated account of a person being stung by a Cicada Killer.

Thanks for the response. My youngest daughter was in my parents’ backyard playing frisbee with her cousins when the cicada killer was spotted. She ran in to get me (terrified), and by the time I got out there, one of her cousins had killed it.
Thank you for your help identifying it. We are better informed now!

Sally Hodges, Jessica M. Schemm, Regis Swope, Bonnie Whitt, Marieke Bruss liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp bumblebee hybrid
Location: Louisiana
June 28, 2015 7:39 pm
I saw a half wasp half bumblebee bodied flying insect today. What is this thing called and what is its potency when stinging.
Signature: Glf1sse

Cicada Killer

Cicada Killer

Dear Glf1sse,
Though your image is very blurry, we are quite certain that this is a Cicada Killer, a large wasp that preys on Cicadas.  This is our first posting of a Cicada Killer this year, though we still have two weeks of identification requests to attempt to answer, and there may be an image of a Cicada Killer there.
  We have no confirmed reports of anyone being stung by a Cicada Killer, a non-aggressive species.

Heather Duggan-Christensen liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp or Hornet?
Location: Truro, MA
July 26, 2014 7:39 am
I live in Truro, MA. This insect sits on the corner of my deck each morning that it is sunny but not when it is cloudy or in the evenings. It is quite large (over an inch), and stays all day making the deck unusable. I can’t get close enough to spray because it immediately flies and appears aggressive. Can you tell me what it is and if it is really aggressive.
Thank you.
Signature: Bill

Cicada Killer

Cicada Killer

Dear Bill,
This is a solitary wasp known as a Cicada Killer, a species that preys upon Cicadas.  This is likely a male, and male wasps are incapable of stinging.  He is likely defending territory against other males in the hope of luring a female into mating and digging a nearby burrow.  Female Cicada Killers are capable of stinging, but they are not aggressive.  We would urge you to abandon your attempts to spray this impressive Cicada Killer.  Normally, we get numerous Cicada Killer identification requests each summer, but this summer your submission is the only one we have received.

Thank you Daniel, for your help.  I will not spray.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cicada killer with prey
Location: Roe, Monroe County, Arkansas
September 10, 2013 8:33 am
Thought I’d share this lucky shot with my cell phone camera! Taken 10:15 AM 9/10/2013 in Monroe County, AR. I was sitting on my porch enjoying the sunshine, and saw something fall from the tree. I was thrilled to watch this cicada killer drag her prey up the tree, where she paused above my hammock rope long enough for me to take a picture.
Signature: Sherry Young

Cicada Killer and Prey

Cicada Killer and Prey

Hi Sherry,
We believe this is the only photo of a Cicada Killer and her prey we have received this year.  Cicada Killers often drag paralyzed Cicadas up a tree or other high spot because they can then glide and fly toward the underground nest.  It is very difficult to gain altitude from the ground with such a heavy load.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: LARGE WASP?
Location: Phoenix AZ
September 5, 2013 2:49 pm
We saw this wasp hanging around our pool in Phoenix AZ this past Labor Day weekend. I have looked on your site and am thinking it is a Western Cicada Killer. It was a good 2 1/2” long & very scary!! What can you tell us about it? We are new to AZ & have never seen a wasp this big. How painful/dangerous is it’s sting? Does it really kill cicadas?
Signature: azleggs

Western Cicada Killer

Western Cicada Killer

Dear azleggs,
The colors on your photograph are so saturated and stunning.  The Western Cicada Killer is sure one impressive predator, even though as an adult it does not eat other insects.  The adult female hunts Cicadas to feed to her larval brood.  She stings the Cicada and drags it back to the underground nest which she provisions but does not defend.  We only have photos of Eastern Cicada Killers with their prey.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant Wasp?
Location: Oak Lawn IL
August 18, 2013 2:14 pm
I am trying to figure out what this hige wasp looking bug is, all of a sudden they are in my yard around my pool and this one pictured ended up drowning so I was able to snap some photos. Help please they are terrifying the family from going outside.
Signature: Dean P

Cicada Killer drowned in pool

Cicada Killer drowned in pool

Dear Dean,
This is a drowned Cicada Killer Wasp.  Cicada Killers are solitary wasps and they are not considered to be aggressive.  Female Cicada Killers, once they have mated, will dig a burrow and provision it with paralyzed Cicadas that they drag back to feed their larvae.  The female Cicada Killer stings the Cicada to paralyze it so that the meat will stay fresh and the developing larva eats its still living meal.  Male Cicada Killers will aggressively defend territory, however, they lack stingers and are perfectly harmless.  Occasionally we receive a report that someone has been stung by a Cicada Killer, but those reports are quite rare.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination