Aug 4, 2007

Cicada Killer Time

(Toledo, OH) I first noticed the arrival of the wasps commonly known as cicada killers this morning, as there appeared on the hood of my car a female wasp dragging a paralyzed cicada.

These large wasps are misunderstood, and - though they sometimes dart about in a manner that might be interpreted as menacing - the cicada killer wasp is a relatively benign insect.

At least if you are a human being.

The males do not possess the ability to sting, while the females prefer to use their stinging abilities on their favorite prey: cicadas. The female cicada killer digs the nest in sandy soil and feeds the young wasps the captured cicadas, while the males serve little purpose beyond mating.

There is an obvious parallel here between male cicada killers and some human males, but I will let that pass.


jshriver said...

Really enjoy your blog. Interesting bees. On a side note, when is the next circada cycle? Last time they came out I was around 97-98. Think it's a 10 year cycle so it should be soon. Creepy little buggers.

Hooda Thunkit said...


Your last sentence struck home with Mrs. "T."

She couldn't agree more :-|

microdot said...

There are different species of cicadas and the most amazing is the 17 year cycle specie, which is the one which appearedin 97. Think about it, these amazing creepy little buggers will appear again in 2014!

It must be harder and harder on the species as the world changes faster than ever during each 17 year cycle.
After millions of years of slowly evolving and establishing this rythmn, to have us disrupt it totally by raising the temperature drastically and putting in a strip mall which in the 17 year cycle has time to go from a shiny retail outlet and new to an unsighly and run down dollar discount store.

historymike said...



historymike said...


Yes, we all know a few useless males like that. They give the rest of us a bad name.

historymike said...


Thanks for the cicada info. There was a species in the US that was supposed to cycle last year, but I did not see any in my area.

They are definitely creepy-looking!

microdot said...

creepy? they are kinda wonderful if you actually look at them!

KraZyKaT said...

I have these little buggers building sand castles all along my sidewalk line. Along with gopher holes and mounds, yellow grass from the drought conditions and squirrils diiging up my front yard to bury those dang walnuts from the back yard....welll...U see where I am going with htis.

Anonymous said...