Wildlife officials: Large insects seen around Oklahoma are not murder hornets


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After news about a dangerous hornet started to spread across the globe, some people in Oklahoma have been on the lookout for the large insects.

The so-called ‘murder hornet’ carries 20 times the amount of venom as a honeybee.

While the insect has caused some concern, experts say it doesn’t appear that murder hornets are affecting communities across the globe.

However, some residents in Oklahoma have become concerned about what they have seen in their gardens.

Some viewers have sent KFOR a few pictures of giant bugs, but experts tell us they are not murder hornets. Instead, they are the harmless cicada killer wasp.

“This species has a very distinctive black abdomen with off-white colored bands and is the largest species of wasp in Oklahoma. They resemble hornets and yellow jackets, but they aren’t social wasps like those other groups are. The female paralyzes and adult cicada, carries it to her burrow, and lays her eggs on it. The larval wasps then feed on the cicada after they hatch,” an email Mark Howery, Senior Wildlife Diversity Biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and Conservation, read.

Howery tells KFOR he has received several emails from concerned citizens about the cicada killer wasp.

A Cicada killer wasp. (Courtesy)

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