Cicada Swarm Proves a Feast for Predators

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 24, 2004   View Article

A female thumb-size wasp known as a cicada killer might sound like the perfect predator to combat the billions of periodical cicadas swarming much of the eastern U.S. this May and June.

The wasp (Sphecius speciosus) paralyzes a cicada with her sting, carries it back to a chamber in her underground burrow, lays an egg on it, and seals the chamber. A few days later the egg hatches and the wasp larva eats the cicada alive.

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