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

Sphecius speciosus (cicada killer)

Synonyms: Hogardia speciosa; Sphex speciosus; Stizus speciosus; 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. This species occurs in the eastern and midwest U.S. and southwards into Mexico and Central America. They are so named because they hunt cicadas and provision their nests with them. In North America they are sometimes called sand hornets, although they are not hornets, which belong to the family Vespidae. Cicada killers exert a measu
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



Panicum virgatum (old switch panic grass)[2]


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


External References



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
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License