Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus)
The iridescent Great Black Wasp is a beneficial insect in spite of its scary appearance being 1-1.5” long. They are nectar and pollen eaters. They gather prey (Katydids, Grasshoppers and Crickets) to feed their immature offspring located in underground nests. Since Great Black Wasps do not have a colony to defend they are solitary, non-aggressive wasps. In fact, only the females can sting and only if their nest is threatened. Their preferred habitat is areas where prey is located, like meadows, pastures and residential areas where gardens, landscaping plants and flowers are found.
written by Kathy Kienle