Cicada killer vs European hornet identification

Roman M. Posted on NextDoor some interesting information on how to distinguish a cicada killer wasp from a European hornet. He said it better than I can, so:

“European Hornets have a lot more yellow to them, whereas cicada killers have more black. European hornets have yellow bands with only black dots (tear-drop shape).

In contrast, cicada killer wasps have just three broken yellow bars and a pointed, mostly black abdomen.

Their “aggressiveness” is just a pose. Females can sting, but they sting only cicadas to paralyze them and process them as food for their offspring. It is hard to make them sting a human. Males patrol nesting areas and try to divert attention away from the nesting females, but they cannot sting and rely on a bluff to protect their families. These beneficial wasps are active for only a few weeks and are mostly gone by mid-August.

Of note, neither European hornets nor Cicada Killer Wasps are the same as “killer hornets” or “murder hornets.”

cicada killer

European hornet

  • Advertisement