Yellow and black Cicada Killers earned their common name for good reason. This large wasp hunts down cicadas in mid-air, attacking in-flight. The cicada may buzz and try to escape, but if the Cicada Killer catches hold of it with its strong legs, a quick sting immobilizes the cicada, and both fly back to wasp's nest for offspring to consume. Though cicadas are the nutritious choice for larvae, adult Cicada Killers actually drink flower nectar. The larger the population of cicadas in an area, the more likely you will see Cicada Killers taking them down.
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.InsectIdentification.org. It is the product of hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, educators, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at InsectIdentification AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Cicada Killer may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Cicada Killer. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.