Great Black Wasp

The chicken chapter at our place has come to an end. I am happy with how the rotating paddocks worked in the chicken palace and I finally got the black soldier larvae production fairly consistent, however we quit eating the eggs a long time ago. My sensitivity to eggs returned and seems to be a part of me I can't ignore. The ladies were past their prime for egg laying and my interest for keeping them had waned so I asked our worker if he wanted them and he did. He seemed happy to take the ladies back to his farm.

Not soon after the hens were gone did these very large wasps begin making a nest on the coop door jam. I have seen individuals of this species, but never a cluster like this. Their large body, about one inch, and the royal blue wings make a striking and intimidating appearance. A quick internet search leads me to believe these are a "great black wasp," Sphex pensylvanicus. If that is true they eat grasshoppers and crickets. I could really use a helper like that in the garden, however I also read their sting is painful but they are not aggressive. I'm not sure what their fate will be...

Comments

john h said…
Did a little research on these wasps. The 'Great Black Wasp' is a North American species not indigenous to Costa Rica but they do look similar to another species named Synoeca Septentrionalis or Warrior Wasp from Costa Rica. These are an aggressive species with a very painful sting. If they are Warrior Wasps you should get professional help removing them.

John
Thanks for looking into this John! I agree with your findings. Not soon after I posted that I asked one of our workers to remove them for me. I was surprised when he took the can of wasp spray and walked right up to the nest without any protection and sprayed away. No one was hurt. I don't like killing things, these were really beautiful.