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

Subject: Huge Waspe
Location: Adelaide, Australia
April 2, 2014 7:28 pm
I walked outside and felt a pain in my foot and saw this huge thing guarding the bin. Its the biggest I have seen in Adelaide – what is it a potter wasp?
Signature: Andrew Perrott

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Andrew,
We find it amusingly ironic that the “huge thing” which is the “biggest [you] have seen in Adelaide” is also one of the tiniest images we have ever received for identification purposes.  We would love to post a larger version of this image of a Spider Wasp if you have one and can provide it in a subsequent email.

Yes i figured out its a spider wasp through google – we have never seen one like this here

Thanks so much for attaching a higher resolution image.

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

i no have a red itchy foot – i am not sure what it did to me, either bit me or stung me

We would suppose you were stung.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird big bug
Location: Potrerillos, Mendoza Province, Argentina http://goo.gl/maps/zYxOA
March 5, 2014 11:37 am
Hi! I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and while visiting Mendoza we found this weird big bug in the mountain area ( http://goo.gl/maps/zYxOA ). It kind of looks like a hornet, but very passive and apparently more a walker than a flyer.
We asked some locals and it doesn’t seem to be very common (at least not closer to the city area). We took three very clear pictures, as the insect was hardly moving. This is my first submission but I remembered your page (I loved it) and thought of giving it a shot. I hope you can help, and manu thanks in advance!
Signature: Santiago Alvarez

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Santiago,
This magnificent creature is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompillidae, and it is most likely one of the Tarantula Hawks, a group of large Spider Wasps in several genera that prey upon Tarantulas and other large Spiders, including Trapdoor Spiders.  The female is the hunter and the Tarantula Hawk hunts for a Tarantula which she stings and paralyzes.  She then buries the Tarantula after laying an egg on it.  The egg hatches and the wasp larva feeds on the paralyzed Tarantula, eating it while it is still living and helpless, ensuring that the meal will always be fresh meat.  Sometimes a Tarantula Hawk loses its battle with the Tarantula and becomes the prey instead of the predator.  These large, active wasps are sure to attract attention when they flutter their brightly colored wings while running on the ground.  The sting of a female Tarantula Hawk is reported to be quite painful.

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Thanks for the nice and quick reply! It’s great to know!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: please help identify
Location: Candelon, NW Dominican Republic
March 1, 2014 8:15 am
Hi, This bug appeared in my gazebo recently here in the Dominican Republic. There are many types of bugs here but this is the first time I’ve seen this one. It measures approx 2″.
Our Haitian boys here tell me it’s dangerous an can kill a horse if bitten, but I think (hope !)that is probably an exaggeration. Body appears like black velvet. It seemed to be grazing on the newly painted concrete floor.
Any clue to what it is ?
Signature: Alistair Young

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Alistair,
This magnificent Spider Wasp is commonly called a Tarantula Hawk, but we cannot provide the exact species for you.  Female Tarantula Hawks hunt for Tarantulas, stinging them to paralyze them.  The Tarantula is then buried after the female Tarantula Hawk lays an egg on it.  The still living Tarantula provides a source of fresh meat for the developing larval wasp which feeds on the helpless, Tarantula.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee/Wasp (?) from Peru
Location: Coastal Peru
January 6, 2014 6:24 pm
Dear Bugman,
today’s identification request refers to this flying insect from coastal Peru. It was pretty big and I was really in awe of it’s orange antennae and the length of its behind legs. Thank you again for your great help!
Signature: Frank

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Hi Frank,
This is surely a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and we are relatively certain it is a Tarantula Hawk in the tribe Pepsini.  Many Tarantula Hawks have orange wings, but there are also black winged individuals.  We found a photo that was cached on Ebay that is a Peruvian Tarantula Hawk that looks similar.  Here is another Peruvian Tarantula Hawk on Etsy, but it has black antennae.  Bird Forum has a very similar looking Peruvian Tarantula Hawk tentatively identified as an Elegant Tarantula Hawk,
Pepsis menechma.  Continued research revealed that the Elegant Tarantula Hawk is a North American species that is pictured on BugGuide, but that does not mean it doesn’t range down to South America.  We cannot at this time provide a species identification, but you can be assured that this is a Tarantula Hawk.  Female Tarantula Hawks hunt Tarantulas.  They sting and paralyze the spiders and then bury them after laying a single egg.  The paralyzed Tarantula becomes a stationary, living source of food for the developing larval Tarantula Hawk.  We have several examples in our archives of Tarantula Hawks hunting Tarantulas, and even a photo where the Tarantula Hawk was eaten by the Tarantula, which is what can happen if you insist on hunting predators.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug!!!!
Location: Sydney
December 12, 2013 5:54 pm
Howdy,
My wife took a photo of this and after a bit of searching, could it be a Spider Wasp?
I have 2 kids under the age of 2 who love to play outside, are they a pest and should i try to exterminate them?
Signature: Michael

Spider Wasp stalks Spider

Spider Wasp stalks Spider

Dear Michael,
You are correct that this is a Spider Wasp, and it is stalking a Spider in one of your photos.  You do not need to fear this Spider Wasp attacking your children unless they look like spiders, which we highly doubt.  Female Spider Wasps are more concerned about providing food for their broods than they are about stinging innocent children, though we would not entirely discount the possibility of getting stung if the Spider Wasps are handled or stepped on.  Again, we want to stress that they are not aggressive toward humans and we don’t believe there is any need to take the steps to exterminate them, which would probably be nearly impossible anyways.  Social Wasps pose a much greater threat because they try to defend their nests, while solitary wasps like Spider Wasps do not have the same defense instincts.  We will try to identify both the wasp and the spider after we do some yardwork in our own neglected garden.  Alas, you photo does lack critical detail, but the spider appears to be a Wolf Spider.  We have nice photos in our archive of a Spider Wasp preying upon a Wolf Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: Los Padres Nat’l Forest north of Ojai at a campground
july 15, 2013
the tarantula wasp was taken at the same location/date.
c.

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Thank you Clare.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination