Spider Wasp vs Garden Spider
Location: Central Arkansas
February 7, 2011 12:59 am
I saw where you thought it was odd that a Spider Wasp would hunt a Garden Spider. Thought I’d throw you a little of my own ”evidence”!
Taken in Central Arkansas, btw.
Signature: Alan D Tetkoskie

Blue Black Spider Wasp preys upon Orbweaver

Hi Alan,
Thanks so much for sending your photo.  Our statement was based upon information posted on BugGuide and not upon any research in books.  Scientific theories are based upon observations, and the camera has provided a marvelous tool to assist in observation and the gathering of data.  It would be interesting to determine if certain species in the Blue Black Spider Wasp genus
Anoplius have a preference for Orbweavers.  When one clicks upon the browse button while on the Anoplius genus page on BugGuide, instead of getting the choice of species, one gets the choice of subgenera, and only upon browsing the individual subgenera do actual species come up.  Perhaps an expert in the field will be able to provide us with a comment the clarify if any of the species in the genus Anoplius have evolved a set of spider hunting skills that enable them to specialize in hunting Orbweavers.  Thanks again for sending us your documentation.

Correction:  September 2, 2013
A comment from Nick indicates this is most likely
Poecilopompilus algidus which is pictured on BugGuide.

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Location: Arkansas

2 Responses to Spider Wasp preys upon Orbweaver

  1. Nick Fensler says:

    I have looked at the photo closely and have noted substantial castaneous markings on this wasp. Although there are a very few records of Anoplius preying upon orb-weavers this wasp taking a garden spider is more indicative of Poecilopompilus algidus, which specializes of orb-weavers. This wasp is often very dark and could be confused with one of the larger Anoplius (i.e. A. atrox or A. bengtssoni).

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