wasp and paralyzed spider
Location: Hyannis Massachusetts
February 4, 2011 10:09 pm
Hi guys, I saw these two locked in combat one summer day in Hyannis, Massachusetts and ran for my camera. By the time I got back it was all over and the wasp had won. In this picture she is dragging the spider to the hole she dug after paralyzing it. I’d like to know the official ID of each of them, especially the spider.
We believe your wasp is a Blue Black Spider Wasp in the genus Anoplius based on information on BugGuide which indicates: “Larvae are provisioned with wolf spiders, funnel web spiders. Many are generalists and will provision with nearly every common family of spider found in North America.” That information is interesting, because Orbweavers are atypical prey. We believe the spider is a Giant Lichen Orbweaver, Araneus bicentenarius, based upon photos on BugGuide.
Correction: September 2, 2013
Thanks to a comment from Nick identifying this as Episyron biguttatus, we can provide a link to the species page on BugGuide which has photos, and the genus page on BugGuide which has information including: “Adults capture orb weavers (Araneidae) (1) to provision their nests. Adults also frequent flowers, especially males” and “Females are fossorial and as stated above provision only with Araneid spiders. They have several generations per year.”