Striped antenna scavenger
Sun, May 3, 2009 at 8:09 PM
I was in local park and saw this bug running around over leaves. It was moving its antennas over everything it ran over like it was trying to feel and detect food. I had never seen a bug quite like this and was wondering what it was. I scared it at one point and it flew away. Thanks and keep up the good work.
Dear Inquiring Mind,
WE are relatively certain that this is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae. According to BugGuide: “Adults are usually found on flowers or on the ground searching for prey.” This seems to accurately describe the behavior you witnessed. The doubt we are having has to do with the wings. BugGuide indicates: “Wings not folded flat on top of abdomen” and your specimen appears to have flat folded wings. There are 8 pages of genera listed on BugGuide, and our quick search did not provide any matches with striped antennae. We hope to get some input from Eric Eaton on this ID, and perhaps some reader can also provide a species or genus name for us.
Correction: Wed, 6 May 2009 17:36:40 -0700 (PDT)
The “spider wasp” is actually an ichneumon wasp:-) Fooled ya! Hey, everybody has been fooled by mimicry like this at one time or another. Spider wasps very rarely have banded antennae, but the tips of the antennae are sometimes a different color. Many ichneumons and sawflies do have banded antennae, however.