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Eastern cicada killers

An eastern cicada killer wasp with a cicada.
Bill Buchanan
/
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons
An eastern cicada killer wasp with a cicada.

Sphecius speciosus, often simply referred to as the cicada killer or the cicada hawk, is a large, solitary digger wasp species in the family Crabronidae. The name may be applied to any species of crabronid that preys on cicadas, though in North America, it is typically applied to this species, also referred to as the eastern cicada killer in order to further differentiate it from the multiple other examples of related wasp species. Sometimes, they are called sand hornets, although they are not hornets, which belong to the family Vespidae. This species can be found in the Eastern and Midwest U.S. and southwards into Mexico and Central America.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.