Spider Wasp: Entypus unifasciatus
Location: North Middle Tennessee
August 3, 2010 8:32 pm
I think I have an ID on this very busy wasp. I believe it is an ”Entypus unifasciatus” (no common name) It was in the grass and a brush pile. It would go beneath the grass and emerge several inches away, never still. A bit diffult to photograph, this is the best shot of three or four attempts. My very best wishes to you.
You have done a nice job of identifying your Spider Wasp, Entypus unifasciatus. BugGuide has a very informative page on this species which is reported to have a transcontinental range but for the Pacific Northwest. The active behavior is a characteristic of the Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae. The females often rapidly dart about on the ground waving their antennae in search of spiders to feed to their progeny. BugGuide describes the habitat as: “Always in semi-open or open situations (“waste areas”, meadows, pastures, open woods and edges, desert, semi-arid grassland, etc.). Never found in deep woods.” Of the life cycle, BugGuide explains: “Parasitoid of spiders, including wolf spiders (Lycosidae). Prey records only exist for E. unifasciatus unifasciatus. They are known to prey on Pardosa riparia and Rabidosa rabida“ and “Females dig a burrow that ends in a terminal chamber off of the side of a mammal burrow or large crack in the ground. The serrations on the hind tibiae are used to aid the movement of soil out of the burrow entrance. The position in which the egg is laid is unknown. Larvae feed on one large spider and, as in all Pompilids that have one generation per year, overwinter as pupae.” Though this is reported to be a common species with a transcontinental range, your letter is only the second posting we have of this species on our site.