Please identify unknown insect

Asked July 30, 2017, 2:34 PM EDT

This is a flying insect. It is the size of a quarter and is blue/black in color. What is it? Is it a stinging insect like a wasp? Is it harmful to vegetable plants? to humans?

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

This appears to be a wasp. Could be a spider wasp, a predator of spiders. Also looks like a pipe-organ mud dauber, which makes the long tubes of mud to lay its eggs and store its prey.

Neither are aggressive toward humans, and they are beneficial since they eat other pest insects.

Here is information about mud daubers: