Is this a Queen European Paper Wasp?

Asked August 25, 2018, 2:24 PM EDT

Found many wasps on a specific plant in my garden, a flowering sea holly. When I looked closer I saw this huge wasp that was over an inch long and I suspect it is a queen of some sort. Anyone have information on this species? I want the wasps gone from my yard but not the pollinating bees.

Garfield County Colorado beneficial insects digger wasp sphex great golden digger wasp sand digger sphecidae sphex ichneumoneus

1 Response

Thank you for using the Ask an Expert Service.

From the picture, the wasp appears to be a Great Golden Digger Wasp (likely Sphex ichneumoneus- please note that it is not possible to guarantee the species without having the specimen in hand, and under a microscope. ). This is a beneficial wasp variety that preys upon grasshoppers and crickets, and is fairly common in North America.

They are a Solitary wasp species, meaning that they do not nest in a colony, and there are no queens. You can learn more about them here:
https://bygl.osu.edu/node/513

Thanks,