What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Two Tanzanian Bugs
Location:  Treetops Safari Camp, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
August 12, 2010 7:40 pm
While walking to our tree house accommodations at the Tree Tops Safari Camp in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania, my daughter found these two intertwined bugs. What are they Bug Man?

Spider Wasp with Prey

Dear AJ,
This is a spectacular safari image.  Your daughter is quite an accomplished photographer.  Does your daughter have a name, or is she just your daughter?  This is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and the spider is most likely a Tarantula.  Spider Wasps are phenomenal hunters.  The female Spider Wasp locates a Spider and battles with it, generally winning.  The Spider is stung on the belly and is paralyzed but still alive.  The Spider Wasp then drags it back to a prepared burrow or excavates a burrow on the spot and buries the Spider after laying a single egg.  The egg hatches and the larval wasp feeds upon the comatose spider, eating it alive.  That ensures that the meat of the spider will remain fresh.  The Spider Wasp Larva feeds on non-vital organs first, and the spider eventually dies.  Only the female Spider Wasp hunts as the male who has no stinger is incapable of stinging.  The prey of Spider Wasps usually includes Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders, but in Australia they feed upon Huntsman Spider and some species of Spider Wasps prey upon Wolf Spiders.  The Spider Wasps are generally species specific when it comes to prey.  Adult Spider Wasps feed upon nectar and they are frequently seen on blossoms.

Bug Man…my daughter’s name is Kryss.

Thanks for that update AJ.  We have an issue with our friends and colleagues introducing their mates and or relatives at social events as “my wife” or “my boyfriend” or even “my mother” and our response is always the same.  “Does your wife (boyfriend or mother) have a name? or is she (he) just your wife (boyfriend or mother)?”

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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