Is this a cicada killer?
Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 11:03 AM
My son Sam, 10, took these cool pictures in August of what we thought might be a cicada killer burying it’s prey. It seems to have many things in common with a cicada killer except that its prey is not a cicada and its legs are not orange. What else could it be? Thanks for a great site!
Jim and Sam Schwartz
Prairie, 35 miles west of Chicago
Hi Jim and Sam,
We already have numerous images of Cicada Killers and prey on our site. Your photo has us much more excited. This is a species of Sand Wasp, most probably in the genus Bicyrtes. According to BugGuide, the female wasp “Provision nests with hemiptera, especially stinkbugs ( Pentatomidae ), also leaf-footed bugs ( Coreidae ), and sometimes assassin bugs ( Reduviidae ). The nest is “mass-provisioned”, i.e., stocked just once, then closed ” Your specimen appears to have a Stink Bug. We are going to contact Eric Eaton to see if he agrees that this is Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus, and since BugGuide doesn’t have any images of the predator and prey together, we suspect he may request that you post this to BugGuide as well.
Thanks for your wonderful note! You and Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus really got the house hopping this morning. It would be a pleasure to send these pictures on. Sammy, who just turned 11, spent the summer taking pictures with an old digital camera of mine and captured some of the coolest insect pictures I have ever seen anywhere. I have a couple of others that we’re trying to identify ourselves before asking for help. Thanks so much for your information and the wonderful resource you provide. I’ve attached a couple more shots in the series. Hope they help.