The Bee Hive

Sometimes it's honey; sometimes it's sting...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

INTERESTING INSECT

These photos are from Friday, on the church grounds. I saw this odd flying insect when we were walking from the church to the classroom building. It is pretty large and was buzzing low to the ground over some fire ant mounds.
Here it is when it 'landed' for a moment. It's really a pretty insect. Does anyone know what kind it is? It's body seemed to be about 1 1/2" to 2" long.

3 Comments:

At 8/07/2006 11:19 PM, Blogger Keith Petrus said...

I was mowing the yard today and saw about a dozen of these scary looking wasps busily at work on a tree. I couldn't tell exactly what they were doing but they were sure single minded in their task. Every once and a while, a competitor would attempt to steal a wasp's place on the tree and a short battle would ensue with the larger wasp winning out in the end. I checked the internet and these are apparently "Cicada Killers." Read all about them at: http://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/cimg331.html

 
At 8/07/2006 11:31 PM, Blogger Wanda said...

Thanks, Keith. That link really answered my questions. Apparently what I thought were fire ant nests - I didn't investigate closely! - are the excavated dirt from the cicada killer's burrow. I hope mowing doesn't ruin its' entrance. You can see in the photo that it was time to cut the grass.

 
At 8/07/2006 11:41 PM, Blogger Keith Petrus said...

Yep, and after further research it appears those "battles" I mentioned may actually have been attempts at mating. As near as I can tell, the male wasps are very aggressive and not real good at telling their fellow males from the females. How embarrassing for them.

 

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