Shiny purple wasp with wolf spider for thanksgiving feast!!!
December 13, 2009
My family went camping over Thanksgiving this year and while we were sitting around the campfire I saw this wasp. It was searching for the wolf spider that it had paralyzed. When it finally found the spider it tried to drag it up the side of the fire ring. The spider was too heavy, and the wasp kept slipping back down. I got the wasp to drag its prey on to a stick and then took them both out of our campsite. The wasp was about an inch long, with shiny black wings and a metallic purple-blue body. The spider was also about an inch long, had two dark brown spots on its head and three on its abdomen, and brown spots on the underside of its abdomen. Do you know what species these are? Thanks,
You normally write from Oklahoma, but you didn’t indicate if your camping trip was elsewhere. We believe this is a Blue Black Spider Wasp, Anoplius depressipes, which, according to BugGuide, has been reported from nearby Arkansas.
We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he can confirm this identification.
We were camping at Robber’s Cave State Park, which is in southeast Oklahoma.
Update from Eric Eaton
Great images indeed! I agree that this is a spider wasp in the genus Anoplius, but not Anoplius depressipes, which preys mostly on fishing spiders. The prey here is a wolf spider of some kind, family Lycosidae.