Great Black Wasp

Blue sand digging wasp?
Hi there bug guys.
I am from Ontario, Canada and was out in my driveway yesterday and noticed this blue waspy looking bug digging in a pile of sand. It was quite a sight. He would go in and appear a moment later with a ball of sand under him, which he would then shove out from underneath himself before going right back at it again. He was a pretty little bug too. Shiny blue wings on an almost ant like body. I was wondering if you would be able to identify him for me and maybe explain what he was doing digging so ferociously in the sand as he was. Thanks so much,

Hi Sarah,
When your Cricket Hunter, Chlorion aerarium, finishes her nest, she will provision it with paralyzed crickets and related insects and lay her eggs. You can look at BugGuide and the Cricket Hunter Wasp page for more information on these digging wasps.

Correction: (08/01/2008)
The cricket hunter wasp from Ontario is actually the “great black wasp,” Sphex pennsylvanicus, most likely. Hard to definitively exclude Podalonia, but I am quite certain it is that Sphex species. She’ll bring katydids, not crickets, back to the burrow.

6 thoughts on “Great Black Wasp”

  1. I looked up the black wasps because we have a lot of them around our boat (on land in our yard). They stay in that area and don’t bother us at all.
    I was wondering why all of a sudden we see them this year, and do they sting?
    Not wanting to get rud if them if they’re harmless.

    • Solitary Wasps like the Great Black Wasp may sting if carelessly handled, but they are not aggressive in the same manner as social wasps. Unlike Social Wasps, Solitary Wasps do not sting to protect the nest or young.

  2. This summer I tried to get one out of the cottage in the Madawaska Valley…gently, it stung me. Then I got died…had nerve seen one there before… sting was quite nasty! Are they moving further north? Damn…just wanted to get it outside. Bite me this is what happens!


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