Giant Cicada Killer Wasp

Hi, Mr. Nature here. And some people will do just about anything to be on youtube, including serving as a launching pad for a cicada killer wasp.

They call ’em cicada killers because that’s what they do. The woman in the video isn’t taking a chance on being stung: these wasps hardly ever sting humans. I guess if you grabbed one and abused it, it would sting you. But that’s about it.

We have one of these babies in our garden this morning. Imagine a hornet as big as a big man’s thumb, maybe even just a little bigger, and you’ve got it. They hunt cicadas as food for their larvae, and in the air, they can hover and even fly backwards.

When a female cicada killer stings a cicada to paralyze it, she’ll drag it to her burrow, if nearby. If not, she lugs the cicada up a tree because it’s too heavy to permit her to take off from the ground.

So don’t freak out if you see one of these. They mean you no harm.

7 comments on “Giant Cicada Killer Wasp

  1. I’ve never seen one of these creatures (thank goodness!), but when I was living in Baton Rouge, we had mosquito hawks — flying insects that looked like gigantic mosquitoes, nearly two inches long, but were actually predator insects that used mosquito-looking camouflage to catch and eat mosquitoes. I remember being told not to kill them unless I really really wanted to protect the mosquitoes in the area.

    The varieties and quirks of creation are truly awe-inspiring.

  2. What an interesting critter! They look so gentle, but I suppose if you’re a cicada, you’d have a different perspective 🙂

    The velvet ant, (actually a wingless wasp) also known as a cow-killer, isn’t discriminating. It will just as easily sting a human as it will a cow. Thankfully, I’ve never experienced its sting, but I understand the reason for its nickname is that if a cow is stung, the poor cow will drop to its knees. They’re beautiful creatures though.

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