Location: Kentucky
July 26, 2011 5:37 pm
I have some type of hydrangea that attacks all types of bees/wasps. I would like to know exactly what type of wasps I’m dealing with. I’m attaching three pictures to help you identify both wasps. Can you help? Thanks
Signature: Carla

Great Black Wasp and Great Golden Digger Wasp

Hi Carla,
You have two different species of Thread Waisted Wasps in the genus
Sphex pollinating your hydrangeas.  The black was is a Great Black Wasp or Katydid Hunter, Sphex pensylvanicus, and the lighter individual is a Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus.  You may read about the Great Black Wasp on BugGuide, and you may also read about the Great Golden Digger Wasp on BugGuide.  The females of both species are solitary wasps that dig a nursery that is provisioned with Katydids to feed the young.  Neither species is considered aggressive.

Great Black Wasp and Great Golden Digger Wasp

Location: Kentucky

One Response to Great Black Wasp and Great Golden Digger Wasp share hydrangea

  1. Wanda Willey Halpin says:

    I live in Milbridge, Maine. Today I saw three flying insects enjoying young goldenrod flowers in my backyard. I have never seen these before. They look exactly like the pictures of the Great Black Wasp, shiny blue-black wings, solid black segmented bodies, and long legs. They didn’t seem to mind my being there and looking closely at them. As they clearly look like wasps, I was careful not to threaten or excite them. Do they sting?

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