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Spider wasp, also from Vieques
Hi LA and D,
Here’s a spider wasp (Tachypompilus ignitus) that we also came across on Vieques last month. They are seen flying all over the island, looking in flight like hefty, slower dragonflies. No questions this time; just an image to share. Any luck with that thick-waisted wasp/bee/robber fly guy below? …we’re also including a much closer crop of the beach wasp photo that we sent
the same day.
Thanks again!
Jim and Sandy

Spider Wasp Sand Wasp

Hi Jim and Sandy,
Thanks for sending us your Spider Wasp image taken in Puerto Rico. The other wasp is a Sand Wasp, also known as a Digger Wasp, in the genus Bembix. Sand Wasps nest in shallow tubes and the female supplies the larvae with flies and other insects. Your photo shows her dragging a fly into the nest.

Corrections: The following corrections were provided by Eric Eaton (02/12/2007)
“The spider wasp from Puerto Rico is almost certainly a species of Pepsis, NOT Tachypompilus….the sand wasp is possibly not a Bembix species, either, but I don’t think you can tell conclusively from images alone… Eric” This correction would mean that the Spider Wasp is one of the Tarantula Hawks.

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9 Responses to Tarantula Hawk and Sand Wasp from Puerto Rico

  1. Dustin says:

    So I just found one of these spider wasps in San Diego, CA. He’s a little way from home I think.

  2. Jose R, Medina says:

    I Know these two species very well. The first one, Pepsis marginata(Tarantula Hawk) and the second ,Stictia signata, a Sand Wasp from the same family of the Bembix americana.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks so much for the correct identification on this very old posting.

      • Jose R, Medina says:

        You’ll welcome! It is old, but it may be useful for future references. I found this old post looking for Pepsis grossa , a cosmopolitan specie thru the Americas that was reported ( but not confirmed ) in Puerto Rico.

        • Leslie says:

          I saw what I think is a Pepsi grossa in the San Sebastian area. (07/15/2015) I looked but it seems it don’t belong in Puerto Rico but again not sure. Thanks will take picture and post..
          “Yes as of yesterday its inside a cup”

          • Jose R. Medina says:

            Leslie, there are two Pepsis species in Puerto Rico that looks alike: P. marginata (picture above) and P. rubra(white tipped red -winged). P. grossa is not confirmed in the island, but if she exists , should be her melanic form (black-winged ) and the only Pepsis sp. with 12 segments antennas. Orange-winged (xanthic) form is most likely to occurs south USA and Mexico.

  3. Chris says:

    I found today the same black and blue body with black tip orange wings wasp dying by my laundry. Normally I see different types of spiders crawling around back there, even tarantulas so now it makes sense to me. But I was stunned & curious about it since I had never seen one before, so I took a few pictures with my cell. Hoped I could upload it for ya….

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