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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
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Is this a wasp, yellowjacket or hornet? - Sphecius speciosus

Is this a wasp, yellowjacket or hornet? - Sphecius speciosus
Sterling, Loudoun County, Virginia, USA
July 24, 2008
Size: 3/4 inch
This guy is hanging out by my front door and I am curious if it is dangerous.

Looks like a cicada killer wasp
and no they are not dangerous unless you are a cicada ; )

thank you!
Just to calm my kids (and myself) do they happen to sting people? He hangs out within feet of our front door and my kids are terrified to walk out the door (OK,me too ;))

No reason to be afraid
they are not aggresive at all towards people. the one in your photo appears to be male... they just sorta sit at the top of leaves like that and just wait for females. they take no notice to people
they have the ability to sting, but would never do so unless you walked right up to one and grabbed it! :D

Only FEMALE cicada killers can sting, and they are too busy digging burrows and hunting cicadas to bother people. Males cannot sting (they have a "pseudostinger" at the tip of the abdomen to fool us), but they are territorial and do behave aggressively toward most intruders.