Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Flying Insect


I live in the Dallas, TX area and have experienced being "hunted" by a very large (almost size of a Humming Bird) insect.  It is pure black to blackish/grey and has a stinger.  The body is one solid mass, not bisected and no stripes so have ruled out Cicada Killer Wasp.  It is somewhat football shaped.  Any ideas on what this could be would be appreciated.  Haven't been able to get a picture of it as I'm usually running the other way when it/they come around.  Only seen one at a time, never in pairs or higher.


I'm sorry, but without at least a clear image, I cannot make an accurate identification.  Several insects come to mind that potentially fit your description.

One thing, though.  If it looks like it has a visible "stinger," then it is NOT a stinger, but an egg-laying organ called an ovipositor.  So, there is nothing to fear, from that end of the insect, at least.

The "football" shape has me confused, as most insects that otherwise fit your description are very slender and/or cigar-shaped.

Might be a female root borer, genus Prionus , but they are fairly clumsy fliers if they fly at all, active mostly at night or at least dusk.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]