Currently viewing the category: "spider wasps"
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.

Jacob Helton, Jerry Pittman, Alfonso Moreno, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Sue Dougherty liked this post
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, 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