Moth or Bee?
Location: Rochester Hills, MI
July 20, 2011 7:26 pm
Dear Bugman: I’ve been seeing this insect flying around my house for a few days. Today I found it digging several tunnels under some rocks. It’s about 2” long and looks like it has 2 sets of wings with a nipped waist and head. Although the antennae look like a moth’s, it sounds like a bee. The abdomen is smooth, so I’m not sure if it is a type of hawk moth or not.
This is neither. This is a female Cicada Killer, a species of Sand Wasp. The female digs an underground nursery and that appears to be its opening in your photo. She will provision it with paralyzed Cicadas to serve as food for her brood. A female Cicada Killer will normally lay 2 to 7 eggs in her underground nest, and each is in its own chamber with an adequate food supply of Cicadas.
Thank you so much for your quick reply! Now the big question is whether I take steps to get rid of it or just leave it alone. Apparently those tunnels will produce a new generation. Thanks again!