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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What insect is this? > Garden Pests > Flies, moths, wasps,and other insects with obvious wings - 3/4 inch and larger > Great black wasp

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Great black wasp

Sphex pennsylvanicus

Great black wasp

Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota Extension

Description: 1 to 1 1/4 inch long. Iridescent violet-black with smoky black wings with a violet sheen.

Where/When: Found on a variety of perennials. Adults are active July to September.

Significance: Visits flowers to feed on nectar and does not harm plants. It is alarming because of its size, but is not a pest to people.

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