Cicada Killer Wasps

close up of a cicada killer with wings, a head, and abomen in yellow and black
It’s been a great year for cicada killers (Sphecius speciosus), the largest wasp found in Iowa. Their scary-sounding name comes from their habit of feeding cicadas to their young in their nests.¬†At Reiman Gardens, these impressive individuals can be seen going about their daily business especially on the magnolia trees where they are collecting honey dew, an excretion from magnolia scale, from the leaves. While their size might make them look very menacing they are really quite docile unless provoked. Come and see for yourself!
-Nathan Brockman, Curator of the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing