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

Subject: Insect identification South Africa
Location: wellington, western cape, South Africa
January 30, 2015 12:16 am
Hi there, we found this insect on the farm that we live on in the western cape. It appears that he kills spiders larger than himself and then carries them away to eat. He has very long legs. Please could you help identify him?
Signature: Jody

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Jody,
This is a rather distant view is of a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and there are several Australian relatives that look very similar.  We believe this may be a member of the genus
Hemipepsis based on this image on iSpot.  In North America, the genus members are called Tarantula Hawks.  Your interpretation of the natural drama you witnessed is not correct.  The female Tarantula Hawk does the hunting.  Both she and her mate visit blossoms for nectar, and the high sugar content gives them energy to mate and provide for their young.  All provisions are the responsibility of the female, who hunts large spiders, including Trapdoor Spiders and Wolf Spiders as well as Huntsman Spiders and Tarantulas.  The Spider Wasp stings and paralyzes the spider, and then drags it back to the burrow where a single egg is laid on the spider.  Since the spider is paralyzed and not dead, the meat stays fresh while the wormlike Wasp Larva eats first nonessential muscles before turning to the vital organs, eating the spider alive.

Thank you so much, Daniel!  That is most fascinating!  I really appreciate you getting back to me and sharing your knowledge with me!
Best regards,
Jody

Jody Comninos Bill, Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery wasp
Location: Cuba
January 5, 2015 10:24 am
I took these photos of this spectacular-looking insect in Cuba on December 11th last year. It was big – I suppose around 4 inches long.
Having done a lot of searching on the net, I have not found any photos of an insect exactly like this one. It resembles pictures of tarantula wasps, but none of the others I’ve seen have the same colouring or the segmented yellow antennae. I did discover that there are tarantula wasp mimics, so perhaps this bug is a mimic?
I hope you can help me.
Thanks in advance
Signature: Mary

Spider Wasp, Probably Tarantula Hawk

Spider Wasp, Probably Tarantula Hawk

Dear Mary,
This is a gorgeous Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and it could well be a species of Tarantula Hawk.
  Your individual looks very similar to Pepsis menechma which is pictured on BugGuide.  In 2006, we posted this image of a Cuban Tarantula Hawk, but alas, it does not show the antennae.  We are postdating your submission to go live during our absence from the office next week.

Most likely Tarantula Hawk

Most likely Tarantula Hawk

Ah yes, I did see the dried-up bug photo and wondered if it had looked like mine when alive. You’re right my blue bug was gorgeous and I was very lucky to see it on my last morning before leaving to fly back to England.
Many thanks for your help, Daniel.
Mary

Spider Wasp, most likely Tarantula Hawk

Spider Wasp, most likely Tarantula Hawk

Kathleen Travis Perin, Amy Gosch liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp and it’s eight legged prey
Location: Mooroolbark, Victoria, Australia
December 18, 2014 1:11 am
Hi,
I saw this wasp yesterday (December 18) and as you can see it has caught a spider, and quite a large one. The wasp itself was about an inch long maybe (as you can see in the pics it’s about half the height of a standard house brick).
I didn’t see the initial attack, but was walking by and saw it dragging the spider by its face (do spiders even have “faces”? haha) through the leaf litter by the side of the house. I watched it drag the spider at least 5 meters to the front of the house where it then hauled it up the wall with apparent ease (the first picture) and pulled it into the gap in the bricks as demonstrated in the last picture.
I found the whole thing quite amazing. It was like watching a documentary :)
I would love to know what kind of wasp this is. Pity I couldn’t get better pictures, but hopefully they’re enough to identify this awesome wasp.
I was also wondering a few things about the spider. If that spider was on my bedroom wall, I would call it a “Huntsman” but I don’t know it’s actual name. Was the spider going to end up as the wasps meal, or was the spider going to have eggs laid in it, so they can hatch and consume the spider alive? Is that even something wasps do or am I just being creative? Haha
Thanks
I’m wondering if the spider is for food, or whether it’s for the wasp to deposit eggs into.
Signature: Matt P

Spider Wasp preys upon Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp preys upon Huntsman Spider

Dear Matt,
We have no shortage of Australian Spider Wasps with their Huntsman Spider (yes your ID on the spider is correct) prey on our site, most likely because they are a common Australian summer sighting that corresponds to the dearth of interesting North American sightings of our northern winter.  You are also correct that the female Spider Wasp will lay an egg on the Huntsman Spider which will provide a fresh meal for the developing Spider Wasp larva as it feeds on the still living but paralyzed Huntsman Spider.  We believe the Spider Wasp is
Cryptocheilus bicolor.  Spider Wasps will frequently climb a wall or fence dragging the Huntsman Spider so they can glide with the prey as it would be too difficult to take off from the ground with such a heavy load.

Amy Gosch liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s that ?
Location: Seen in Tampa, FL 9/28/2014 in town
September 28, 2014 4:02 pm
Hi bugman
What’s the bug on this picture ?
Thanks
Signature: Fred

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth

Dear Fred,
The Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth,
Empyreuma pugione, is one of the Tiger Moths that benefit from mimicry because they look like stinging Wasps.  This black bodied, orange winged beauty most closely resembles Spider Wasps, especially the Tarantula Hawks.  According to BugGuide:  “The spotted oleander caterpillar is a recent immigrant to the US from the Caribbean, first recorded in Florida in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, in February 1978.”

Tarantula Hawk with Prey

Tarantula Hawk with Prey

thank you for the info, now i know the name of what’s eating my plants in a caterpillar form… !
have a great day
Fred

 

Rachel Carpenter liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider wasp’s (rescued) victim
August 22, 2014 9:14 am
I saw a wolf spider being attacked by a blue spider wasp today, and I managed to chase away the wasp and rescue the spider. I know some species only temporarily paralyze the victim, and I’ve seen the spider twitch, so…does he have any chance of recovering? I feel bad for intervening, especially since it’s probably too late for the spider, but the poor guy was trying very hard to get away, and I wanted to help him out.
I don’t know what kind exactly the wasp was, but it’s a Michigan variety.
Signature: Kitt

Blue Black Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider (from our archives)

Blue Black Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider (from our archives)

Dear Kitt ,
We have heard of a Tarantula recovering from the sting of a wasp, but the whole purpose of the sting is to paralyze the spider so that it will provide food for the wasp larvae.  We are uncertain if it will recover.  We have illustrated your posting with an image from our archives.

Thanks for responding, and I’m glad you could answer my question. I’ll keep an eye on the spider. who knows? He might recover soon.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What insect is this?
Location: East Coast- Balt, Md
August 13, 2014 12:45 am
Found this suck roaming my kitchen floor at 3am?
What is it?
Signature: Dez

Spider Wasp:  Tachypompilus ferrugineus

Spider Wasp: Tachypompilus ferrugineus

Dear Dez,
This Spider Wasp,
Tachypompilus ferrugineus, appears to be dead since you have also included a ventral view with its legs sticking up in the air.  Since you found it roaming, we are guessing it died at your hands.  We believe living Spider Wasps, like this one pictured on BugGuide, are much prettier than dead ones. Spider Wasps are not aggressive toward humans, and in an effort to educate you and others on the importance all living creatures play in the complicated web of life on our planet, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Dead Spider Wasp

Dead Spider Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination