Cicada Killer Having Snack in WV
Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 6:30 PM
These killers surrounded us this summer in Springfield, West Virginia. They like to burrow (?) in the ground – they make little holes like moles and they seemed to have made their home about 50 yards from the river, in a field, with fruit & nut trees. They like to fly at us, but then swerve real quick. We’ve seen them close to 3 inches in length! This little bugger brought down the cicada right in front of me. LOVE THE SITE! I’ve learned sooooooo much!
Julie & Steve
Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia
Hi Julie and Steve,
Thanks for your contribution to our archive of a Cicada Killer and its prey. We should clarify though that that adult Cicada Killers feed on nectar and that the Cicada is not food for the adult. The female Cicada Killer provisions her nest with a paralyzed Cicadas and then lays a single egg on each. The Cicada is a meal for the developing larva. The life cycle is expained on BugGuide in the following manner: “In two or three days after egg laying, a wasp larva will hatch from the egg. The larva immediately begins eating the cicada. When the larva finishes the cicada, leaving only the outer shell (about two weeks), it will then spin a coccoon and hibernate until the following Spring. In the Spring, the larva will leave its coccoon and become a pupa (resting stage). From the pupa, an adult Cicada Killer will hatch. It will dig its way out of the ground and look for a mate. Male wasps die shortly after mating. Females die after laying all of their eggs. “