Some kind of hornet
I killed this hornet in the waiting area of an auto repair shop this afternoon in downtown Durham, NC. It seemed to have flown in and couldn’t get back out. I was more than happy to "help" it. Below is a description and attached are 3 pics for identification.
Full length (eyes to stinger = 37cm)
Abdomen widest width = 8.5mm
Thorax widest widthwidth 9mm
Wingspan = 63mm
Antennae = 13mm each
The eyes are large and brown. The face between the eyes is yellow with some brown on it. The antennae are made of small segments and gets slightly thicker toward the end, before tapering right at the tips. They are black. All 6 legs are kinda "spikey" like a roach or locust. at the 2nd joint of the hindmost legs there are 2 small appendages which look like small pinchers connected at the joint and proturding toward the feet Thorax is very dark brown and medium dark brown. Thorax is also a bit fuzzy near the abdomen There are 2 longer outer wings and 2 shorter inner/under wings. Abdomen seems to have 6 "sections". The 1st section from the thorax has 2 yellow markings. The 2nd section has 2 yellow markings on the back, 2 small ones on the sides and 2 small spots on the underside. The 3rd section has 2 yellow markings on the back. The last three are solid black.
I made a very detailed description as the photos from my SonyEricsson T616 cellphone camera aren’t that great. I searched quite a few sites for this formidable looking fellow but came up empty-handed. Hope you can help. Thanks 🙂
Very Sincerely,
Scott Walton

Hi Scott,
You have a Cicada Killer Wasp, Specius speciosus. According to the Golden Guide of Insects: “This large solitary wasp digs a burrow a foot or so deep. In side passages the female stores adult cicadas which she has paralyzed by stinging. The heavy cicadas are dragged up a tree by the killer till she can get enough altitude to fly back to her burrow. When the egg hatches, the lrva feedes on the helpless cicada. In a week it is full grown and pupates in a loose cocoon. It emerges the following summer, completing its life cycle.” Though your photos are blurry, we are thrilled to have them.

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