Cicada Killer Wasps have had a big year this year. They've registered on the radar of people
who probably never gave them a thought. I've been expanding my gardens on the side and
front of my house, and these are the areas the wasps are tending to colonize. I posted a discussion
on my personal blog as What's The Buzz? http://lilybarthes.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/whats-the-buzz/
If you're not sure if you have these wasps, this is what the mounds tend to look like around my house. I've watched
the wasps dig, going head first down the hole then backing out as they push the dirt with their back legs. For as long
as they're in the ground, I think these holes must be several inches deep.
The males slam into each other several feet up and then drop straight to the ground as they struggle together.
So far I've always seen both combatants fly away, and the males don't have stingers, so I'm not sure how they
decide who wins these struggles. This photo is cropped from a much larger photo (I wasn't this close to the wasps
as they duked it out.)
This photo is from last year, and I may have posted it here already. It's pretty easy to tell if they're
fighting or if they're breeding. I'd hazard a guess that in this photo they're breeding.
This photo is cropped from a much larger photo. Aren't the colors and markings on these insects