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

Subject: Cryptocheilus bicolor and …
Location: Perth, Western Australia
March 28, 2013 2:42 am
Dear Bugman
Recently captured few images and recognised the wasp from your site as Cryptocheilus bicolor (I think). Was interested to know what kind of spider it was. The picture were taken in Perth, Western Australia.

Spider Wasp battles with Wolf Spider

Spider Wasp battles with Wolf Spider

At first the wasp was the victim, and being dragged by the spider (yesterday). Wasp managed to get a sting in to ”seemingly” paralyse the spider, as it was still alive the following day (today).

Spider Wasp paralyzes Wolf Spider

Spider Wasp paralyzes Wolf Spider

The wasp has been dragging the spider around and attempted to get it to it’s nest in the roof… was a bit of a struggle and continually dropped it as it reached ceiling height, only to pick it up and drag it up the wall again! It now lies abandoned on the ground… seems to still have a little bit of life left in it! I think the wasp will be back for it… (?)
Signature: Marlise Nel

Wolf Spider Eyes

Wolf Spider Eyes

Hi Marlise,
Thank you for sending us your wonderful photos and your detailed observations of this Food Chain drama.  The Orange Spider Wasp, Cryptocheilus bicolor, feeds on both Huntsman Spiders and Wolf Spiders according to the Brisbane Insect Website.  We typically get photos of them feeding on Huntsman Spider and we believe this is the first example we have received of a Wolf Spider as the prey.  In your second photo, the face of the spider is perfectly facing the camera, so it was easy to make out the eye arrangement and match it to the eye arrangement of the Wolf Spiders.  Spider Eye Arrangements are posted to BugGuide.  One correction we would like to make on your observations is your mention of a rooftop nest.  Spider Wasps burrow underground, and this spider was intended not as food for the female wasp that hunted it, but rather for her brood.  Since it would be nearly impossible for the Spider Wasp to gain altitude from the ground while transporting such a large spider, it is common to see the wasps climb to a height and glide to the nest with the prey in tow.  Since we will be away from the office during the holiday, we are postdating your submission to go live early next week.

Spider Wasp dragging Wolf Spider up a wall

Spider Wasp dragging Wolf Spider up a wall

Dear Daniel
Delighted to hear from you!  Thank you so much for going to the trouble of replying with such detailed information.
Have since seen the videos of her dragging her prey underground :-)  Horribly cruel, yet resourceful execution…
Best
Marlise

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unkown flying insect dragging a dead spider
Location: South-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne Vic. Aust.
March 20, 2013 4:38 am
Hi
I found this page while trying to identify this insect on the various bug sites and having no success, so am hoping that you can identify this insect.
I have never seen one before and was astonished to see it dragging a dead spider up the brickwork next to my front door.
The bricks are 8cm deep and this insect had to be 3.5cm long. It moved very fast and was also able to fly short distances with the dead spider in tow.
The shot was taken in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne at 5.45pm on the 20 March 2013. The weather today was 29c and humidity at about 40%. We have recently had a very dry hot spell of weather with a heavy down pour a few days earlier, so don’t know if this has any bearing on the presence of this insect.
The first photo is the sharpest, but I have included the others even if they are a bit blurred as you can get a side view of the insect .
The insect has a black body and yellow/orange wings, legs and head and it looks like from the 3rd very blurred photo that the rear end tip of the insect is also yellow/orange.
I am really hoping that you can identify it, as everyone I have showed these photos to has never seen anything like it and also has no idea what sort of flying insect it is.
Cheers and Thanks
Signature: Anne

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Hi Anne,
We could have made your identification by your subject line alone considering the time of year.  Each year at this time (winter in our Los Angeles offices but summer in Australia) we receive several submissions of Spider Wasps, often your species which is
Cryptocheilus bicolor, dragging Huntsman Spiders in Australia.  The spider is actually paralyzed and not dead.  The wasp is a female and she will provision her nest with paralyzed spiders to feed her brood.  When the eggs hatch, the young larvae will feed upon the nonvital organs first as the helpless spider is eaten alive.  Thanks for sending such a wonderful photograph since the ones we posted earlier in the month are blurry.

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Wow, Thank you for replying so promptly.  A Spider Wasp, amazing, unfortunately, she lost her prey when she tried to drag it through an outdoor blind, so hopefully the spider recovered.
Anne

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Scripps Ranch, San Diego, California
March 14, 2013 2:05 pm
Hello,
A few months ago I found this bug against the glass doors in my house. I have been wondering for so long what it was and I’m finally trying to find out. It moved pretty slowly and didn’t seem to fly because it walked all the way across our patio. I asked my parents and no one knows. Please help! I used to live in Point Loma, San Diego, California and never saw it but as soon as I moved north to Scripps Ranch, San Diego, California I saw it.
Signature: From Lindsey

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Hi Lindsey,
This magnificent Spider Wasp is a Tarantula Hawk.  The female is reported to have an extremely painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Australian Unknown – Newport, Victoria
Location: Newport, Victoria, Australia
March 8, 2013 2:59 am
This unknown bug was photographed on 3/8/13 in Newport, Victoria, Australia. It is dragging a dead Huntsman spider.
Please identify, if possible. Sorry about the blurry pic.
Thanks for the help!
Signature: Chuck

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Dear Chuck,
Despite the blurry photos, we have not probems with this identification because we have seen this particular drama play out numerous times in the past.  We regularly get submissions of Spider Wasps with Huntsman Spider prey from Australia, and your wasp appears to be
Cryptocheilus bicolor, a relatively common species in Australia.  Only the female hunts spiders, and only the female is capable of stinging.  The Huntsman Spider will not be eaten by the wasp that hunted it, but rather by her progeny.  She will drag the spider back to a burrow and bury it after laying a single egg.  The spider isn’t dead, but rather paralyzed, and it will supply the wasp larva with fresh meat.  The larva will eat nonvital organs first and the spider will be eaten alive.

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue wasp?
Location: El Paso, TX, USA; desertic zone
January 17, 2013 12:38 am
Hello, Bugman!
My name is Hector, and I encountered this interesting site few days ago when people in a famous forum were discussing a video of a parasitic worm getting out of a dead spider; freaky stuff.
Anyway, upon finding this site, I come to you with a request:
Last year, my mother told me about a curious thing she found outside, in my patio. Laying dead on a flower pot, was this insect, what appear to be a wasp. A dark electric blue wasp with oxide orange wings (I’m attaching 3 photos; I apologize with its current appearance, it laid dead on the pot for 3 days before coming inside (y’know, women)).
I found it during the spring wind storm season, mid-April or so.
I’ll be very thankful if you provide with information about this specimen.
Keep up this thing you do! Thanks for the site! :D
Signature: Hector

Tarantula Hawk

Hello Hector,
We want to begin by complimenting you on the excellent photographs.  Since the wasp was not alive and moving, you were able to take advantage of the situation and “pose” the specimen.  You have excellent focus, depth of field and clarity.  The simple background and absence of shadows due to the flat lighting is very professional.  This is a Tarantula Hawk, one of a group of large spider wasps that preys upon Tarantulas.  Though your photos are exceptional, we prefer images of living Tarantula Hawks.  Female Tarantula Hawks which possess the stingers hunt for Tarantulas and sting them to paralyze them.  They then drag them to a suitable location for an underground burrow, bury the still living but paralyzed Tarantula, and lay an egg.  The larva that hatches will feed upon the living but helpless Tarantula.  The sting of a female Tarantula Hawk is reported to be extremely painful.  Adult Tarantula Hawks are frequently found nectaring on flowers, especially milkweed.

Tarantula Hawk

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Browsing My Photos
Location:  SLO County, California
January 10, 2013
san luis obispo county.
july 2005.
lots of lovelies at and near our house in paso robles!
you should come up one of these days.
have you seen the view?
Clare Marter Kenyon

Tarantula Hawk on Narrow-Leafed Milkweed

Thank you so much CLare,
This is a gorgeous photo that illustrates the importance of food plants to perpetuate animal species.  The Milkweed Meadow supports amazing ecosystems.  The complexity of the web of life surrounding the Tarantula Hawk is astounding since it is so particular about its diet, especially that of the larvae.  We once posted this photo of the danger of preying upon a predator.  We here at What’s That Bug? have seen a Tarantula Hawk in the Los Angeles River Bed in August several years ago, but never one in Mount Washington.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination