Western Cicada Killer
Genus Sphecius grandis

beautiful cicada killer
This is one of those insects that would send an Apiphobic into cardiac arrest.  It is huge!!  I can't emphasize
the word "huge" enough.  I thought these were hummingbird moths when I saw them because of their size. 

western cicada killer
I couldn't help but stare at the thickness of the abdomen on these things and imagine how badly it
would hurt to be stung by one, but I just kept on taking pictures anyway.  I wish I had taken more.

wings of a cicada killer

They reminded me of digger wasps so I thought maybe I could get up close to them and they wouldn't freak out. 
I did, and they didn't. This one was so docile--I just followed it around.  In fact, it almost climbed on my camera
 because it moved so quickly from one flower to another.  They are not normally aggressive wasps but they are
so large they scare people into having them eradicated from their property.  They do, in fact, kill cicadas
and you can read more about them here on the University of Kentucky site.  This is the first time I have
 ever seen them at Bear River MBR.  I must have picked the right day.  © Carol Davis, 7-12-2009

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