A Killer


When this flying creature is spotted, one’s first thought is to run from the world’s biggest bee. This flying killer makes the human heart jump, but thankfully it is only cicadas that this wasp  (Sphecius speciosus) is after.

Commonly called Cicada Killers, the females hunt and sting cicadas to feed their offspring in nests that are burrowed 10 to 20 inches into soft soil.   The eggs and larvae overwinter and emerge in June and early July.

I first noticed these flying beasts a few years ago. I have to say they are very scary and make a loud buzz. I once saw one carrying a cicada on a pine tree.  Neighbors have complained about knocking at their doors that turned out to be the Cicada Killers.

I got a lucky shot of this wasp with my cell phone.  The Cicada Killers are only up to 2 inches long, but I swear this one was at least 3 inches as she flew around checking me out.

The Cicada Killers do not hurt humans unless they are handled roughly.  I’m not sure who would really want to handle them. I prefer to just let them fly by.

14 Comments on “A Killer”

  1. shoreacres says:

    I found one of my neighbors shrieking and swatting away one morning. When she warned me about the “big bee” I was able to ease her fears just a bit: at least, I hope so. They can make a racket, though, and they certainly are big.

  2. Tina says:

    That’s a great shot. I’m seeing/hearing cicadas, but so far no killers. I’ll need to keep an eye out.

  3. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Two inches is pretty big for a wasp.

  4. Chloris says:

    What strange creatures you have, I’ve never heard of this one.

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Great shot and interesting subject.

  6. We had a side hill about 20 feet long and 7 feet from top to bottom occupied by them. They do give you a start when you first see them, but they didn’t sting me and they didn’t harm the plants. They, however, do lessen crescendo of cicada noise, which is always a blessing.

  7. Yikes. Every creature has its predator.

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