Wild Florida Photo - Sphecius speciosus

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Sphecius speciosus


Florida native


Eastern cicada killers are large wasps that resemble hornets, sometimes locally common in Florida. The range includes the United States east of the Rockies, plus Ontario to the north and south into Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
They are 25 - 50 mm (1 - 2 in.) long with distinctive black and yellow abdominal markings.
These members of the digger-wasp family spend most of their life cycle underground in burrows. The adults begin digging soon after the cicadas start singing. They only live above ground for two to six weeks, after which that year's adults die off. The females are typically larger than the males. They dig the burrows and bring dead cicadas to seal in a nest chamber with each egg. This provides food for the larvae after the egg hatches.
The Caribbean cicada killer - S. hogardii can also be found in Florida and the Caribbean islands. They have red bodies with black-tipped abdomens. There are two species found west of the 94th meridian (about the middle of the continental US) - S. grandis, western cicada killer and S. convallis, Pacific cicada killer. S. spectabilis is the only member of the genus known in South America.

Sphecius speciosus is a member of the Crabronidae - Crabronid Wasps, Cicadakillers, Sand Wasps, Mud Daubers family.

A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada

   David L. Pearson; C. Barry Knisley; Daniel P. Duran; Charles J. Kazilek
 Identification, Natural History, and Distribution of the Cicindelinae

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A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada
More than 2600 species of tiger beetles are found all over the world. In North America there are 116 species of tiger beetle, divided into 153 geographically distinct races. Detailed studies of their natural history, population dynamics, communities, patterns of worldwide species richness, and taxonomy of particular subgroups have produced much information. Tiger beetles are among the most widely investigated groups of insects, especially in terms of their ecology and geographic distribution.The first edition of A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada, published in 2005, has served as a field and natural-history guide to all known species of tiger beetles found in North America above the Mexican border. The 2nd edition is a pleasant and comprehensible handbook of the identification, distribution, natural history, and habitat details of the 116 species of tiger beetles in North America. The updated handbook provides new information including observations of seasonality, range extensions and biology, a newly developed list of common names, and twenty-five artistically pleasing identification color plates. The second edition of A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada provides essential information to recognize and easily identify tiger beetles for established naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

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For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Bugguide.net page for this species

Date record last modified:
Dec 16, 2017

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