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Wasps and Hornets

What is a Great Black Wasp?

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2010-12-12 13:16:23
2010-12-12 13:16:23

A Great Black Wasp, Sphex pennsylvanicus, also known as Katydid Killer, is a large solitary non-aggressive black wasp of up to 1 1/2 inches in length. One of the solitary digger wasps, it feeds on nectar, sap, and other insects.

Nesting habit:

Digs a burrow, one egg per chamber, into each of which it places a large insect such as a cicada or katydid which provides food for the hatched young.

Novice identification is simple, in that:

  • Wasps fly with their feet trailing below rather than tucked up against their bodies like bees and hornets
  • No other wasps in North America are both this large and an unmarked dark black/blue-black. eg, Cuckoo Wasps are also blue-black, but are very small, and Great Golden Digger Wasps are large, but browner and with markings.

What to do if one has wandered indoors:

  • Turn out the lights in succession (starting at the back of the room andmoving the line of dimness toward the door) encourages it to fly back outside toward the sunlight.
  • Unless physically disturbed, they won't bother you, so don't try to shoo them toward the door. Although they generally ignore people, at that point you may become a target.
  • Flyswatters are unlikely to be sufficient, and just irritate the insect. Once aggravated, they will sting.
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A bald-faced-hornet or the great black wasp.


Several species of wasp are completely black. The species Sphex pensylvanicus for example is known as the great black wasp.


Like any other wasp, the Great Black Wasp (sphenx pennsylvanica) is equipped with a stinger. Do not confuse the Great Black Wasp with other black wasps. The Great Black Wasp is a solitary wasp, consequently, it does not build "community" nests similar to other wasp species and does not swarm. If you are experiencing swarming black wasps, then these are not the Great Black. Wasps are typically rather aggressive, however the Great Black Wasp is not as aggressive as other species and generally will not bother you unless provoked (accidentally stepped on or otherwise agitated). However, this is a large powerful insect with an extremely painful sting, therefore caution is advised. The Great Black Wasp is easy to identify from other stinging insects; these wasps fly with their legs trailing behind them while most other types of bees and wasps will tuck their legs toward their body as they fly. The Great Black Wasp is also considerably larger than other wasp species with a separate thorax and abdomen.


Like any other wasp, the Great Black Wasp (sphenx pennsylvanica) is equipped with a stinger. Do not confuse the Great Black Wasp with other black wasps. The Great Black Wasp is a solitary wasp, consequently, it does not build "community" nests similar to other wasp species and does not swarm. If you are experiencing swarming black wasps, then these are not the Great Black. Wasps are typically fairly aggressive, however the Great Black Wasp is not as aggressive as other species and generally will not bother you unless provoked (accidentally stepped on or otherwise agitated). However, this is a large powerful insect with an extremely painful sting, therefore caution is advised. The Great Black Wasp is easy to identify from other stinging insects; these wasps fly with their legs trailing behind them while most other types of bees and wasps will tuck their legs toward their body as they fly. The Great Black Wasp is also considerably larger than other wasp species with a separate thorax and abdomen.


you kill it with your shoe.


It isn't poisonous, but it does sting.


The black wasp is an aggressive bee. Another name for the black wasp is the cicada killer wasp. It is larger than other wasp, growing up to 2 inches long.


yup actually ther is !! see it here : http://magickcanoe.com/insects/great-black-wasp-small.jpg :) see it but dont touch it !


A black wasp is considered a hornet while a yellow wasp is often called a yellow-jacket.



Black wasps sting just like any other bee or wasp. However, the black wasp isn't as aggressive as most species.


Yes you will go into a fit and die in 20 mlns ;/ I no this for when my great auntie died of one


Great black wasps are not necessarily dangerous. They don't usually bother people unless agitated. Upon agitation, they will sting though they are not deadly.


a bug with a body of a black wasp with blue wings


A mud dauber is a type of wasp that is black and lustrous blue. Other names for this was are dirt digger, mud wasp and dirt diver.


A Bald-faced hornet, a worker "black jacket" , and Mason wasp are a few black wasps with stripe on them.


The black and blue hairy flower wasp (Scolia soror) and the great black wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) are bugs that have black bodies and black-blue wings. The steel-blue aphid- and cricket-hunting wasp (Chlorion gerarium) gives black-and-blue impressions that cautiously closer inspection proves to be more black of wings and blue of body. The three insects will be found respectively in Australia (case 1) and North America (examples 2, 3).


The Eastern Sand Wasp has a red head and black wings. This wasp also features a brown and white striped body.


The Australian wasp is a small black wasp with wings. This insect has a large orange spot on the lower part of its thorax.




The Cicada Wasp has a black body with blue wings. This wasp also features red and yellow stripes near its stinger.


There are two wasps with this coloring. It is either called the Mason wasp and they are quite large. It could also be a Potter wasp.


Yellow antenna black spider wasp found in Brisbane aea, Queensland Australia



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