Great Black Wasp – 8/17/11

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/17/11

Observation Time: 12:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Great Black Wasp

Scientific Name: Sphex pensylvanicus

Comments: Sphex pensylvanicus is a species of digger wasp, commonly known as the great black wasp. It lives across most of North America and grows to a size of 20–35 mm (0.8–1.4 in). The larvae feed on living insects that the females paralyze and carry to the underground nest. Only the females can sting, but they are not aggressive, and only sting to defend themselves.

This specimen was seen on a swamp milkweed blossom (Asclepias incarnata)

More Information: Wikipedia