Subject: Cryptocheilus bicolor and …
Location: Perth, Western Australia
March 28, 2013 2:42 am
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.
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).
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
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.
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…