Q:

What is an all black wasp?

A:

A large all black wasp with blue-black wings is called a great black wasp. This type of wasp has long and spiny legs and is about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Great black wasps are found all around North America, New Mexico and Canada and can often be found eating nectar and pollen from flowers in the summer.

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Female great black wasps have stingers and do not have a group hive to protect, so they rarely sting humans. The stingers on great black wasps are used to immobilize their prey so they can give it to their babies. Great black wasps will sting a human if they are mistreated or believe they might be in danger. The stings from this species of wasp are relatively painful, but they are harmless unless the person stung is allergic.

Great black wasps are beneficial because they help control the population of katydids and grasshoppers. They have a life cycle that begins as an egg, turn into larva and then turn into pupa and then adult wasps. After a female great black wasp mates, she digs a hole and lays one egg on a dead katydid or grasshopper. Females dig new chambers for each of their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the larva eat three insects provided by their mother.

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