Hornet identification?

Asked August 7, 2020, 2:24 PM EDT

My husband had what appears to be a massive hornet buzzing around him outside today in Cecil County, Maryland. This "hornet" is about 2 inches long. Trying to confirm if this is a hornet and if so, which type?

Cecil County Maryland

1 Response

This is a Cicada Killer, a common wasp out and about this time of year. Its behavior suggests it is a male, which monitor their territories for intruders (of any size!) and can bluff-charge in defense. Males cannot sting; females tend not to defend their nest burrows (which they use individually, not in a colony) in this way, if at all. Cicada Killers are harmless unless you happen to harass or handle a female, and busy themselves with hunting cicadas with which to provision their burrows.

These page provides more information on the life cycle of these large insects:
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cicada-killer-wasps

https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/cicada-killer-wasps-in-turf

http://bugoftheweek.com/blog/2018/7/22/cicadas-beware-the-ladies-are-in-town-female-cicada-killer-isphecius-speciosusi

Miri