Animalia > Arthropoda > Insecta > Hymenoptera > Crabronidae > Sphecius > Sphecius speciosus

Sphecius speciosus (cicada killer)

Synonyms: Hogardia speciosa; Sphex speciosus; Stizus speciosus; Stizus vespiformis; Vespa tricincta

Wikipedia Abstract

Sphecius speciosus, often simply referred to as the cicada killer or the cicada hawk, is a large digger wasp species. Cicada killers are large, solitary wasps in the family Crabronidae. The name may be applied to any species of crabronid which preys on cicadas, though in North America it is typically applied to a single species, S. speciosus. However, since there are multiple species of related wasps, it is more appropriate to call it the eastern cicada killer.
View Wikipedia Record: Sphecius speciosus


Diet [1]  Omnivore

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Carlsbad Caverns National Park II 15448 New Mexico, United States


Prey / Diet

Asclepias syriaca (broadleaf milkweed)[2]
Cirsium vulgare (Spear Thistle)[2]
Taraxacum campylodes (Dandelion)[2]
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)[2]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Apis mellifera (honey bee)4
Battus philenor (pipevine swallowtail)2
Branta canadensis (Canada Goose)1
Colias philodice (clouded sulphur)4
Danaus plexippus (Monarch Butterfly)1
Meleagris gallopavo (Wild Turkey)2
Nymphalis antiopa (camberwell beauty)2
Ondatra zibethicus (muskrat)1
Papilio polyxenes (Eastern black swallowtail)3
Passer domesticus (House Sparrow)1
Pieris rapae (imported cabbageworm)2
Spinus tristis (American Goldfinch)2
Zonotrichia albicollis (White-throated Sparrow)1


Cryptotis parva (North American Least Shrew)[2]
Cyanocitta cristata (Blue Jay)[2]
Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat)[2]
Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog)[2]
Mimus polyglottos (Northern Mockingbird)[2]
Myiarchus crinitus (Great Crested Flycatcher)[2]
Proctacanthus rufus[3]
Scalopus aquaticus (Eastern Mole)[2]
Turdus migratorius (American Robin)[2]


Panicum virgatum (old switch panic grass)[2]


Pollinator of 
Asclepias incarnata (rose milkweed)[4]
Cicuta maculata (poison parsnip)[4]
Sicyos angulatus (bur cucumber)[4]




Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
3Predator-Prey Database for the family Asilidae (Hexapoda: Diptera) Prepared by Dr. Robert Lavigne, Professor Emeritus, University of Wyoming, USA and Dr. Jason Londt (Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg)
4Robertson, C. Flowers and insects lists of visitors of four hundred and fifty three flowers. 1929. The Science Press Printing Company Lancaster, PA.
Protected Areas provided by Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access