Currently viewing the category: "spider wasps"
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

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Moorpark college
July 21, 2013 11:20 pm
I found this guy on the moorpark college campus. He was dead when I found him which was sad. . He was about 2” long.
Signature: You rock!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

This is a Tarantula Hawk and they are much more impressive living and in action than they are dead.  Hopefully you will have an opportunity to witness a living Tarantula Hawk in action.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red wasp? Puple-blue wings
Location: Northeast Texas
July 11, 2013 12:55 pm
Hi! Thanks for reading, its a very commendable service you offer to us regular folks who know nothing about bugs. I live in Northeast Texas (Hopkins County) and I am no stranger to the red wasp, and have been stung so many times I can identify them in my sleep. We were INFESTED with them last year and I had an exterminator come at the beginning of the year and thankfully I have not seen any of the typical red paper wasps that we have (the meaner than hell boogers). Now for some reason, we are infested outside with these! They look like a red wasp, but they are faster, have bluish wings and like to crawl on the ground a lot. They don’t seem to be as aggressive as the paper wasp, but I haven’t given them much of a chance to chase me, but they seem more like the aggression of a dirt dauber because they don’t just stalk you down with the intent to kill. What are they?
Signature: Texas lady

Possibly Spider Wasp

Possibly Spider Wasp

Dear Texas lady,
We believe this is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae.  We will do additional research.

Update:  July 12, 2013
We believe this might be a member of the genus Tachypompilus based on photos posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: tarantula hawk?
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
June 15, 2013 2:25 pm
Hi!
I took the first picture (Foto-0093.jpg) but I didn’t have a high quality camera at the moment. I’ve been curious about what kind of insect is this, so I’ve been trying to look it up on the internet but haven’t been successful.
The description I can give about the bug I saw is that it is black, long (I think about 5 to 7 centimeters), six long legs (wich made the insect look bigger when it flew), and it’s wings and antennae were notoriously orange.
The second picture is from Mauricio Valverde. (2010). Utopia, Magazine & Travel Guide. Retrived from
http://www.revistautopia.com/Insectos-de-Monteverde.aspx,
This picture is the most look-a-like I found for the insect I saw but I can’t tell if it is the same. May be it is.
While surfing in the internet, giving my description I found an insect called tarantula hawk, but this one is a wasp and I don’t think the insect I saw looked like a wasp. But again, may be I’m wrong and it is a tarantula hawk. I just want to be sure.
Signature: someone curious

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Based on your photo and description, we agree that this is a Tarantula Hawk, a spider wasp in the family Pompilidae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination