Currently viewing the category: "spider wasps"
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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

Subject: Spider Wasp
Location: White River, South Africa
April 19, 2013 6:58 am
Hi Bugman
Thanks for your reply. As it happens I did take some photographs. My wife has most of the shots and it going to try and upgrade the quality of the photos, but I have attached three in their original state for your perusal.
Signature: Steve

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Dear Steve,
Thank you so much for writing back and providing photos to the comment you posted on the Spider Wasp from South Africa posting.  Many Spider Wasps have a
metallic sheen and we are curious if your personal observations included the purplish color of the posting you commented upon.  We get most of our Spider Wasp and Huntsman Spider submissions from Australia.  We are running a bit late this morning, but we will try to identify this species of Spider Wasp in the near future.  Your photos are wonderful.  We believe that the Spider Wasp might be dragging the Spider up the wall in an effort to glide as far as possible.  The wasp could never get off the ground with such a heavy payload, but by taking off from a higher elevation, she can still make use of flight to return to her burrow.

Spider Wasp with Rain Spider

Spider Wasp with Rain Spider

Thank you for reminding us that Huntsman Spiders are known as Rain Spiders in some parts of their range.  Your previous comment mentioned the pain of the sting.  Do you know this firsthand.  North American Tarantula Hawks, another large group of Spider Wasps, are also reported to have among the most painful stings of any insect.

Spider Wasp with Rain Spider

Spider Wasp with Rain Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Asian Wasp/Hornet with Orange Legs
Location: Singapore
April 13, 2013 8:50 pm
I’m surprised I couldn’t find any reference to this wasp online as it’s a very striking insect. It was eating voraciously on these white flowers. It has long orange legs and a bluish/violet tint to its wings. There were about 6 wasps in this group feeding on this particular plant.
Signature: David

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Hi David,
In our opinion, this appears to be a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae.  There is a list of identifying features on BugGuide, and this description of the leg fits your photographs:  “Slender with long and spiny legs, hind femora typically extending beyond tip of abdomen.
Tibiae of rear legs have two prominent spines at apex (distal end, next to tarsi).”

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasps often visit flowers in search of nectar, and female Spider Wasps prey upon Spiders to provide food for her brood.

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

 


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange bug
Location: Hong Kong/China
April 13, 2013 7:32 am
We were in china last summer, and we saw this strange bug with purple wings and orange legs, it seemed to be eating a spider. It was as big as a pointer finger, and really scary.
I took the picture.
Signature: -Catie

Spider Wasp attacks Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp attacks Huntsman Spider

Dear Catie,
The predator is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae and the prey appears to be a Huntsman Spider in the family Sparassidae.  The spider is not being eaten by the wasp.  Female Spider Wasps hunt and paralyze Spiders to feed to their broods.  The paralyzed spider provides fresh, not dry meat for the developing wasp larva.

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