Sphex pensylvanicus, has a descriptive common name, the Great Black Wasp. This conspicuous wasp is 22 to 28 mm long (females are larger) and are commonly seen on milkweed and other sources of nectar. The wasp is mostly black with an iridescent blue color on the forewings. The tips of the wings are black.
This giant wasp digs a tunnel for her offspring and provisions the nest, typically with katydids. Many of the katydid prey are larger than the wasp. Katydids are immobilized with wasp venom and flown back to the nest. A single immature may require multiple katydids to complete development. The tunnels are about a half meter long. After the female provisions a cell with food and lays a single egg, the chamber is sealed and another begun in the same tunnel.