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Big Bad Wasps in Westford, Ma.

News Category: Cicada General Info

Big Bad Wasps in Westford, Ma.

Sphecius speciosus

3:00 PM - Pine Grove Cemetery - Westford, Ma. I'm back again to see if I can snap a few pictures of these Cicada Killer Wasps. It's later in the day and hopefully they won't be as active. Sure enough I sucessfully photographed a male perching on a bush. I find these wasps quite facinating. While they are very large 1 - 2 inches long, they really seem oblivous to my presence. They are buzzing all around me and I'm right in the thick of them.

I'm really not the least bit fearful of them. They don't seem interested in chasing me away or anything. I can't really tell the difference between males and females yet so I sent the below pictures to my friend Professor Chuck Holliday at Lafayette College in Easton Pennsylvania who was gracious enough in identifying it as a male Sphecius speciosus Cicada Killer which is common in the eastern part of the United States.

Cicada Killer Information Wanted

Massachusetts Cicadas is trying to compile a distribution map of all cicada species in the United States with a particular focus on the Cicadas of New England. This of course, one might assume is a huge undertaking. But with the inception of the World Wide Web which makes communication and the seeking of information virtually instantaneous it is a great time for everyone who is online to be able to contribute because it can bring everyone together with a mere click of a mouse.

Cicada Killer wasp locations can be used in order to ascertain cicada species types that are being brought in by female cicada killers.

If you spot a Cicada Killer and have a photo, all you need to do is report it by filling out the online form with the following information:

  1. The county you saw them in.
  2. The town or city you saw them in.
  3. Actual location of the Cicada Killers.
  4. Time of day.
  5. Date you saw them.
  6. Pictures if possible.
  7. If possible cicada specimens taken by Cicada Killer females.

What Parts of New England Are Needed?

Basically all over New England. If a valid report of a cicada killer is spotted complete with burrows then Massachusetts Cicadas would like the opportunity to visit the site location in order to ascertain cicada species in the area. There are areas of New England where Cicada and Cicada Killer information is extremely lacking especially in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. So any cicadas or cicada killer information that you may stumble upon from these three states would be especially appreciated.

Below are pictures of a Sphecius speciosus for your reference. I hope to obtain additional information like maybe movies and hopefully witness a Cicada killer digging a burrow and catching and bringing cicadas to it. That would be cool huh?

For more information see Cicada Killers In New England under Projects. Enjoy the pictures and thanks in advance for your help.

Date Posted: 2005-07-21 Comments: (2) Show CommentsHide Comments


Posted By: Denise | On: 2012-11-12 | Website:

Stumbled upon this site. We have had cicada wasps in our front yard for the last three years, and cannot seem to get rid of them. They seem to come out in July, and are very active through August. Wouldn't mind them except, they are right near our front walkway and flower gardens. Will try to remember to come back to this site next summer. Westford, MA

Posted By: Gerry | On: 2012-11-13 | Website:

Hi Denise,

Thanks for your comment. You really needn't worry about Cicada Killer wasps. The males have no stingers and can actually be handled. The females do have stingers but are reluctant to sting.

Hope that helps.

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