First Cicada Killer of 2012

Subject: Biggest insect we’ve ever seen
Location: Southeast United States
June 19, 2012 6:23 pm
This insect looked to be about 2 inches long. We’ve never seen anything like it. Can you identify it for us?
Signature: LC

Cicada Killer

Dear LC,
We are thrilled to receive your photo since it is the first Cicada Killer submission we have had this year, but this also signals that we will begin receiving Cicada Killer carnage photos.  From all the research we have done, we have concluded that Cicada Killers are not aggressive and we cannot substantiate a confirmation of a person being stung, though we admit it is possible to sustain a sting from a Cicada Killer.  Like all wasps, only the female can sting.  The males will defend territory, so they appear to be aggressive, but they are harmless.  Most people are concerned about Cicada Killers because of their size, but also, though they are solitary wasps, they tend to nest in colonies when the sandy soil they prefer is available.  A female Cicada Killer stings and paralyzes Cicadas to supply food for her brood.

Thank you so much! Knowing they are not aggressive makes me feel a little better. Does this mean we will be seeing many more of them around our house?

Possibly, but not necessarily.  The populations of Cicada Killers vary from year to year and some years they are very common while other years they are barely noticed.

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