September 19, 2013

Cicada killer

Cicada killer by ricmcarthur
Cicada killer, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
I hadn't heard about these wasps before I saw one flying to its nest with a cicada.
They pay no attention to humans but cicadas should be looking over their shoulders.
They dig burrows in sandy soil 10 to 20 inches deep, they capture cicadas by stinging them then carry them back to the nest.
They lay eggs in the cicada then close the burrow.

Photo by ric mcarthur

From Wikipedia
Adult eastern cicada killer wasps are large, 1.5 to 5.0 centimetres (0.6 to 2.0 in) long, robust wasps with hairy, reddish and black areas on the thorax (middle part), and are black to reddish brown marked with light yellow stripes on the abdominal (rear) segments. The wings are brownish. Coloration superficially resembles that of some yellowjacket and hornet species. The females are somewhat larger than the males, and both are among the largest wasps seen in the Eastern United States, their unusual size giving them a uniquely fearsome appearance.
Sphecius speciosus

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice picture of Giant Swallowtail @ Black Oak trail signage-congrats!