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Calling all cicadas........Killer is about!!!

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As male cicadas are drumming out mating calls from local trees, killers lurk around them. The predators are cicada killer wasps.

Their large size (1 ½ inches) and markings (black with yellow bands) make cicada killers look dangerous to humans, but they are rarely aggressive. Male wasps are incapable of stinging.

Several readers have reported these huge wasps digging holes in their lawns.

Cicadas are sought by cicada killer wasps as food for their larva.

Once mated, female wasps begin digging nest burrows in the ground. This task takes several weeks. After nesting chambers are prepared, the quest for cicadas begins. The female wasp searches along tree trunks and branches for unsuspecting cicadas.

The cicada is paralyzed by stings from the wasp and dragged or flown to the awaiting burrow. An egg is deposited on the cicada by the female wasp and the entrance is sealed. In a few days a larva emerges from the egg and feeds on the cicada. After several instars (molts) the larva will pupate and await emergence next June or July when cicadas are once again available.

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