No, that’s not a murder hornet, unless you’re a cicada. What you should know about the other ‘killer’ wasps you’re seeing lately

From The Morning Call
July 28, 2020

That song from “The Lion King” about the circle of life is catchy enough, but it doesn’t mention the gigantic wasps that paralyze cicadas with a venomous sting, drag them into an underground burrow and lay eggs on their bodies so the babies have something to eat when they hatch.

For the cicada, that’s one lousy circle. For the wasp — the eastern cicada killer, a 2-inch-long creature with black and yellow stripes and the tongue-twisting Latin name Sphecius speciosus — it’s just good parenting.

Cicada killers are beginning to make themselves evident because annual cicadas are beginning to emerge. People who have never seen them before are, understandably, disconcerted, wondering if Pennsylvania has been invaded by the hot new insect horror of this dystopian year — the Asian giant hornet, better known as the murder hornet.