Subject: double winged, orange hornet?
Location: Massachusettes, USA
July 19, 2014 12:42 pm
Never seen this thing before. It has an orange body and legs. A yellow head with black eyes, antenae and half of the abdomen as well. The other half is orange. It has two sets of wings and burrows under ground. This one is exactly 25 mm long (one inch). Help identify!!
This magnificent wasp is a Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus, and we can only presume that it is dead because of Unnecessary Carnage. Great Golden Digger Wasps are solitary wasps and they are not aggressive towards humans. As your email indicates, the female excavates a burrow and she provisions it with Katydids, Crickets and other Orthopterans to feed her brood. This is a beneficial species and it should not be harmed.