Subject: Great Black Wasp
Location: Faribault County, Minnesota
September 21, 2016 3:09 pm
Greetings, Daniel et al!
To test whether or not my queries can get through as successful submissions, I’m sending photos I’ve identified as a Great Black Wasp.
These photos were taken in my Rain Garden way back in August of 2013. I was so excited the first time I saw this magnificent creature! I did not know what it was and called it a giant flying ant and tried to do some research. I eventually figured out it was a Great Black Wasp. My first photos were blurry and off center so I kept hoping I would see it again to take more pictures. The milkweed in my garden proved irresistible and the wasp did return allowing me to get these better photos.
I’ve seen the Great Black Wasp each summer since then, though not as frequently. I was gone much of Summer 2015 and this year the humidity has kept me out of the garden more than I like.
These photos are slightly smaller in size than the others I’ve been trying to send through without success. Does this site have a limit to submission size? Maybe that is my issue …
Blessings to all,
Signature: Wanda J. Kothlow
Your images of a Great Black Wasp, Sphex pensylvanicus, are absolutely gorgeous. We wonder if your problem was related to huge file size. The detail on these images is phenomenal, even after we reduced them to a web friendly size. According to BugGuide: “Provision nests (in burrow in soft earth) with Katydids or grasshoppers. (Univ. Florida lists: Tettigoniidae in genera Microcentrum and Scudderia.) Usually about three are placed in a nest.”
Thank you! The Great Black Wasp photos I sent went through just fine, so what you received is “my original” in all its glory. The combined total in size for the Great Black Wasp was just under 6 MB. The Long-Horned Bee submission earlier this summer was closer to 7.5 MB. For my future submissions I’ll check file sizes. If need be, I’ll compress them to keep my combined total submission size under 8 MB.
I was hoping you would like the photos of the Great Black Wasp. I thought you would like to add them to your photo archives. I truly was excited to see this creature; when feeding on the milkweed the Great Black is quite a sight to behold, almost mesmerizing! I have some fine photos of the Great Golden Digger Wasp as well which I can send.
Both large wasps really are gentle giants. All of the insects I’ve encountered in my garden have proven to be non-aggressive toward humans, so I have been using that reality as an opportunity to educate the residents here at the apartments. My photos help make the point quite nicely. “Aren’t you afraid of getting stung?” they ask. “Nope,” I reply. “In all my years of gardening I’ve never had an issue with any of the wasps, flies, or bees I find on my plants or in the earth. They do their thing, I do my thing, and we get along just fine.”
Wanda J. Kothlow