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Fooled me at first...I thought, what's a Western or Pacific C-K doing in TN? But the distinctive head shape and shorter abdomen make it a Euro Hornet. Interesting that they too prey on cicadas. It shouldn't have been laying eggs in the cicada, but might have been stinging to subdue it. I'll post a spotting of Sphecius convallis to show the difference.
Any update on this spotting, Lindsey?
You could submit this to BugGuide.net and ask them to help with an ID. Welcome to Noah!
It's great that you got to observe this and capture it to share here. Outstanding spotting.
The european hornet is much smaller than the cicada killer. This was one of the largest I had ever seen. Also, the cicada killer was laying eggs into this cicada, not sure if the European hornets do the same?
It's an understandable mistake, given it seems to have captured a cicada. I had to do a double-take myself.
Keith, I was thinking that about the yellow as well (but was apparently distracted when I made my initial suggestion). I agree that it looks much more like a European Hornet. Sorry about the confusion Lindsey.
Do they dive bomb cicadas? My husband and I saw many while camping and he remembers seeing them as a child. I had never seen one though. Thanks for the input :)
A bit too much yellow on the abdomen for a Cicada Killer. I'm thinking European Hornet - Vespa crabro.http://bugguide.net/node/view/213020
Awesome action shot! Cicada Killers are one of the largest North American wasps.
Spotted on Aug 22, 2012 Submitted on Aug 30, 2012