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Great black wasps

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Dan Mullen
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Flickr
A great black wasp

Sphex pensylvanicus, the great black wasp, is a species of digger wasp. It lives across most of North America and grows to a size of 20–35 mm (0.8–1.4 in). The larvae feed on living insects that the females paralyze and carry to the underground nest.

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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.