Currently viewing the category: "Crabronid Wasps"

Subject:  Big identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Southeast Texas
Date: 07/31/2019
Time: 09:13 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This has been flying around here for a few days now. I have tried to identify it but no pictures are exactly accurate to its markings. It is the last day of July and temperatures are in the 90’s.
How you want your letter signed:  Sue

16 minutes later:  I believe I found a picture of it. Could it be a Cicada Killer Wasp?

Cicada Killer

Hi Sue,
You are correct that this is a Cicada Killer and it looks quite dead.  Cicada Killers are not aggressive toward humans, and though they are quite large and possibly scary appearing, they are not interested in stinging humans, but that does not prevent them from falling victim to unnecessary carnageFemale Cicada Killers spend their lives hunting Cicadas to provision a nest.  Like other solitary wasps, they do not defend the nest from threats. 

Thank you for verifying it’s name. We have tons of Cicadas here so that explains their presence.

Subject:  Hornet/ wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Pearland TX
Date: 07/06/2019
Time: 04:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This hornet attacked a locust and was dragging it around in the grass in the backyard just yesterday July 5 2019
How you want your letter signed:  KMB

Cicada Killer with Cicada prey

Dear KMB,
This Wasp is a Cicada Killer and its prey is a Cicada, not a Locust which is actually a Grasshopper.  Cicada Killers are not aggressive.  The female Cicada Killer stings and paralyzes a Cicada and then drags it to her burrow to serve as food for her brood.

Cicada Killer

Subject:  Wasp or bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Murphy Idaho
Date: 06/18/2019
Time: 10:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I need to know what these are they showed up in our backyard and we have two small children
How you want your letter signed:  Jackie

Western Cicada Killer

Dear Jackie,
This magnificent wasp is known as a Western Cicada Killer.  The female is a solitary wasp that builds an underground nest that she provisions with paralyzed Cicadas to feed her brood.  Western Cicada Killers are not an aggressive species and the female does not defend the nest.  Though Cicada Killers might sting if carelessly handled, we have never received an authenticated report of a person being stung by a Cicada Killer.  Though we empathize with the action you have taken out of concern for your children, we are nonetheless tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

we have not killed any even though my daughter was stung in the face and she had to go to the ER because her eye was swollen shut and her whole side of her face was swollen so they do sting. We found this one floating in her pool they are all over my backyard can you tell me how long they will be here?

We apologize for our rush to judgement.  BugGuide does not include any reports from Idaho, but in nearby Washington, they are reported in July.  We suspect the life span of an adult Western Cicada Killer, Sphecius grandis, to be about four to six weeks.

Subject:  large bee with a head like a dog
Geographic location of the bug:  east pa.
Date: 03/03/2019
Time: 08:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  a few years a go I seen what appeared to be a very large yellow jacket with a head like a dog. it was hovering over a hole and checking me out as much as me it. about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long
How you want your letter signed:  no

Cicada Killer

Despite the poor quality of your image, we are very confident this is a Cicada Killer, a large, female wasp that preys upon Cicadas to feed her brood.

Subject:  Hornet?
Geographic location of the bug:  Williamsburg,  va
Date: 09/02/2018
Time: 01:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this on the ground today. Have little children out playing.  Where is this most likely to be nesting to keep kids away from the area?
How you want your letter signed:  Worried,

Cicada Killer

Dear Worried,
While a female Cicada Killer is capable of stinging, this is not an aggressive species and it does not defend its subterranean nest.

Subject:  Giant Hornet in NYC?
Geographic location of the bug:  Brooklyn, NY
Date: 08/13/2018
Time: 09:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was on the outside of our window in Brooklyn. It was huge. I held a ruler up to it and it was 2 inches. It looked like some sort of bee, wasp, or hornet….
How you want your letter signed:  Tommy

Cicada Killer

Dear Tommy,
Just because you live in the city does not mean there is no wildlife.  This impressive wasp is a Cicada Killer.  Cicada Killers are not dangerously aggressive towards humans, though males which lack stingers will defend territory by buzzing any perceived threat.  The female Cicada Killer does have a stinger that she uses to sting and paralyze Cicadas to provide food for her brood.

Awesome! Thanks so much for taking the time to identify this for me. Have a great rest of the day.