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Cicada Killer and Prey in West Bridgewater, Ma.

Sightings Category: Cicada Killers

Cicada Killer and Prey in West Bridgewater, Ma.

Cicada killer wasp has a couple of burrow's in my back yard. I have seen at least one carrying a cicada back to the burrows, one time unsuccessfully as it tired out, but successfully today, 8/27/11.

Date Posted: 2011-08-27 Comments: (1) Show Comments Hide Comments


Posted By: Massachusetts Cicadas | On: 2011-09-02 | Website:

Hi Tom

Thanks for the cool photos and the data. We love receiving cicada killer wasps with their cicada prey. It's kind of tough to tell species of the cicadas with only a partial ventral view but I'll venture a guess and say that the cicada specimen is probably a Tibicen canicularis judging by the size and width of the black stripe on the abdomen. Besides, Tibicen lyricen - our other common cicada here in Massachusetts - is just about done with its season.

It is interesting that the female has just left the cicada outside its burrow. We have seen this in the past where female cicada killers have just abandoned their cicada prey like this. One reason is due to an "opportunistic" fly that waits at the entrances of cicada killer burrows for cicada killer females to bring back cicadas. Then this little fly will lay its own eggs on the paralyzed cicada. When the female cicada killer detects this (and sometimes it doesn't) the female will abandon the cicada.

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