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Eastern cicada killer

Sphecius speciosus


Large digger wasp that hunts cicadas. Females catch a cicada, deliver a venomous sting, then fly the oftentimes much heavier cicada back to an underground burrow. Cicada killers provide population control on cicadas. The wasps do not act aggressive towards humans and will only sting if handled roughly.


Open fields and sunny residential lawns. Adults emerge in late June through July.


The pictures I uploaded are of a cicada killer that free exhausted carrying a cicada back to its nest. The wasp struggled to regain a grip on the cicada in the tall grass of a front yard. The wasp eventually succeeded and brought the cicada into its burrow.

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Spotted by

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Spotted on Jul 25, 2012
Submitted on Jul 26, 2012

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