Eastern Cicada Killer

Amos and I discovered an Eastern Cicada Killer (Sphecius speciosus) female attempting to carry away her prey this weekend outside of my apartment in Savannah, GA. ┬áCicada Killers are solitary wasp parasitoids that sting prey, paralyzing it, and drag it to pre-made burrows, where they will lay an egg on the incapacitated prey item for their larvae’s consumption. ┬áThis seems absolutely terrifying, especially given that this wasp is a couple of inches long…

The wasp seemed to have taken a cicada that was a bit too large for it; it was struggling to carry it off, and eventually left the paralyzed cicada, possibly because of the dual harassment from my photographing and Amos’s barking.