Tag Archives: cicada killer

It’s a “murder hornet”! Or is it?

If you’ve never heard of “murder hornets,” more accurately called Asian giant hornets, Vespa mandarinia, you’ve probably been living on the space station for the past month.  And at the risk of stirring up a hornet’s nest, I thought it worthwhile to remind us all June is the month of the cicada killer wasp.  This is another common large wasp likely to be mistaken for the Asian giant hornet haunting news feeds this spring. Actually, both Asian giant hornet workers and cicada killer wasps vary in size based… Read More →

Giant hornets genuinely frightening

The Asian giant hornet has recently been spotted close to the Canadian border in Washington state. Photo courtesy Washington State Department of Agriculture.   Last year’s quiet arrival of a foreign wasp known as the Asian giant hornet is no longer a secret outside of Washington state.  Within the past few days, all the major TV networks have broadcast stories of the arrival of the wasp to the Pacific Northwest.  Known to entomologists as Vespa mandarinia, it has been named by the press the ‘murder hornet’. It’s hard… Read More →

The Texas-sized cicada killer

One of the signs of summer in Texas, and throughout the eastern U.S., is the cicada killer.  Over the past month or two you may have noticed dime-sized holes appearing in your yard or garden.  While many insects (beetles and ants, for example) dig holes, few are so conspicuous as the cicada killer wasp, Sphecius speciosus. Cicada killer wasps are easy to spot due to their large size; they are typically 1-1/2 to two inches in length. The female cicada killer digs homes for her young in home… Read More →