Currently viewing the category: "spider wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: 3 Namibian Insects
Location: Namibia
November 18, 2015 9:44 am
Hello Daniel. By coincidence I spotted your great website. I was in Namibia this year. Could you please help me to identify these 3 insects? Thanks a lot in advance, Bye-bye, Becky from Munich-Germany
Details to Image 1: Namutoni Restcamp, Etosha NP-Namibia, on our picnic blanket, 07-May-2015, 4pm, size about 2 inch (5cm)
Details to Image 2: at the Hoba Meteorite near Grootfontein-Namibia, 09-May-2015, 11am, size about 0.4 inch (1cm)
Details to Image 3: Anderson Campsite, Waterberg-Namibia, 11-May-2015, 9am, size about 0.3 inch (8mm)
Signature: Becky, Munich-Germany

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Becky,
We believe both Image 1 and Image 2 are Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae.  We found a nice visual match to image 1 on iSpot, and your image clearly shows spines on the legs which agree with this BugGuide description for the family:  “Slender with long and spiny legs, hind femora typically extending beyond tip of abdomen.  Tibiae of rear legs have two prominent spines at apex (distal end, next to tarsi).”  We found a close visual match to image 2 on iSpot as well where it is identified as probably in the genus
Hemipepsis.  Female Spider Wasps hunt and sting Spiders, paralyzing them but not killing them.  The female then drags the spider to her underground nest where she buries it and lays an egg.  When the egg hatches, it has a live, but paralyzed spider to feed upon.

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Hello Daniel.
Thanks a lot for the prompt answer. Wow, you guys are great! That you´ve found 2 visual matches. I have stared for hours at google-pics, insect sites, etc.
As a kid, I never was so fond of insects, but the diversity of all of them really fascinates me now. That´s why I did not only made pics of “common” animals like Lion, giraffe, etc., but insects as well. But they are so hard to id.!!
Thanks again Daniel, and a lot of succes with your website (I´ve put it into my favourites)
Bye-bye,
Becky from Munich-Germany

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Wasp
Location: Central Arizona
November 14, 2015 3:38 pm
Funny story. Fount this guy in the pool, dead. Scooped him out and spread him out to dry after showing the kids. While laying him out I couldn’t get his legs right, to spread, so I kept at it until he came back to life.
Signature: Brian

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Brian,
What a wonderful Bug Humanitarian story.  This is a Tarantula Hawk, a group of Spider Wasps that prey upon Tarantulas.  Most North American species of Tarantula Hawks have reddish-orange wings.  We are pretty certain your individual is Pepsis mexicana based on images posted to BugGuide.

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fifteen years in Sd first time seeing this!
Location: San Diego
June 3, 2015 7:19 pm
Found this rad insect crawling around the ground in my backyard in san diego ca. Any idea?
Signature: Ink only.

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Ink Only,
This is a Tarantula Hawk.  Unless you are extremely fond of intense pain, like what might result from multiple stabbings with an inking needle, you should handle this Tarantula Hawk with caution as they are reported to have one of the most painful insect stings known to man.  Their venom is strong enough to paralyze a Tarantula.
  We will be postdating your submission to go live on our site while we are away from the office in June.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp or Beatle?
Location: Covina California
May 21, 2015 6:35 pm
Found this in the backyard crawling into a hole, never seen one before. It’s quite interesting. It really looks like a beetle mixed with a wasp. 05-21-2015
Signature: Joshua

Tarantula Hawk Carnage

Tarantula Hawk Carnage

Dear Joshua,
We are afraid to ask why this Tarantula Hawk is no longer crawling into a hole.  Tarantula Hawks are Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae.  We will be tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Tarantula Hawk Carnage

Tarantula Hawk Carnage

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Another Tarantula Hawk
Location: Van Nuys, CA
May 4, 2015 6:05 pm
I wrote a couple weeks ago and you helped me identify a Tarantula Hawk I had found on my street. I had no photos at the time.
So heres a funny story for you (and a photo): I was visiting friends who live 17 miles away from me and I was telling them about my encounter with the Tarantula Hawk, describing in detail everything from the size to the colors, to how painful supposedly the sting supposedly is. When my friends starting pointing at me and then yelled “it’s right behind you” I of course didn’t believe them. I thought they were paranoid, it was too much like a bad movie. But turned around and yes there it was. We managed to capture and take a photo. We soon found another one, larger wings, seemed more energetic (this one in the photo wasn’t very fast). The white glare on the photo is the glass.
This is the first TH spotting that my friends have encountered at this residence and they had never heard of it before. How common are these? I’ve managed to run across 3 in as many weeks now.
Signature: Ragga

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Ragga,
Your account of conjuring up a Tarantula Hawk from the ether through words is very amusing.  We have never encountered a Tarantula Hawk in Mount Washington, but we have encountered individuals in the Los Angeles River and at Barnsdell Park in Los Angeles.  Most of our sightings have occurred in arid areas outside of the city, and it is our speculation that populations of Tarantula Hawks within urban Los Angeles have dwindled with the loss of critical habitat and the scarcity of a food supply in the form of both Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: huntsman
Location: Perth,Western Australia
April 16, 2015 6:30 am
I just sent you a msg re-paraylised huntsman on my windowsill and didnt have the link to send a photo so here they are.
What can i do with it?

Subject: Huntsman Spider
April 16, 2015 6:02 am
I live in western Australia. Huntsman spiders are common but never really seen in my area, however with the change in weather in the last week i’ve seen 2 being dragged by wasps. One made it back to its nest while the other couldn’t quite get it up the wall into the tiny hole. Now i have a paraylised huntsman sitting on my windowsill and have no idea what to do with it. Can you help?
Signature: zoe

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Spider

Dear Zoe,
Female Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae sting and paralyze Spiders to feed their young, laying an egg on the paralyzed spider which provides living and fresh (not dead and dried out)
food for the developing larva that eats its still living meal.  Your letter did not indicate why the Spider Wasps left behind the spiders, but we would urge you to not interfere in the future if that is what happened.  It takes tremendous effort for a female Spider Wasp to provide for her brood.  If enough venom was injected into the spider, it will most likely not recover.  We have numerous postings from Australia of Spider Wasps and Huntsman Spider prey.

Hi Daniel, thank you for your reply. My apologies, I had sent 2 different questions the second just contained photo’s. I can promise I didn’t interfere with anything. I seem to have nesting’s of wasps under the house and also in the roof.  The wasp simply gave up trying to pull the huntsman up the wall. It went up and down 3 times, nearly getting there on the 3rd attempt but seemed to give up and left it on the windowsill. I know its pretty much a lost battle for the huntsman and I have left it alone incase the wasp came back but it has not. So I guess my question is what to do with the paralysed but still living spider on my window? What do you suggest?

We would let nature take its course because we are guessing it is on the outside.

Update:  May 14, 2015
Hi Daniel,
I have been in contact with you previously as you can see from the e-mails below with regards to a huntsman spider that was left on my windowsill. The reason I am getting back in contact with you is I need to move it because my son is nearly able to reach the sill and has taken interest in what’s sitting on it. So figuring as its been a month I went to move it and to my surprise our huntsman has flinched its body and its legs. So this is my predicament… I need to move it as my son will soon be able to grab it and probably will do if I’m not looking, and even though it was stung and paralysed by a wasp our huntsman seems to have regained some movement. The poor thing has been sitting there for a month but has shown me (only moments ago) that it has some fight left. What can I do? I would not feel right placing the huntsman just anywhere which is why I am asking for you to help guide me on the best possible solution which may just preserve this ones life should it fully recover. I do want to make clear also that I never interfere with nature and its way of life but certain situations like this sometimes need a little helping hand however big or small.
I would really appreciate it if you could advise me on the best place to put him, I am simply not going to just throw him in the bin or out on the lawn.
Many thanks in advance, I look forward to your reply
Kind Regards
Zoe Delaney

Hi Zoe,
We would suggest a sheltered location outdoors, perhaps under an overturned flower pot or some other place that will offer some protection from predators and the elements.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination