Subject: Wasp and it’s eight legged prey
Location: Mooroolbark, Victoria, Australia
December 18, 2014 1:11 am
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
I’m wondering if the spider is for food, or whether it’s for the wasp to deposit eggs into.
Signature: Matt P
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.