Deceased huntsman spider with unknown wasp
Location: Eastern Suburbs, Sydney, about 1km away from the pacific ocean.
November 13, 2011 11:45 pm
Hey, I got these series of pictures and this video outside on a warm summers day, on the 14th November, 2011. A warm summer summer in November must mean the southern hemisphere, indeed this image is taken on the eastern suburbs, in Sydney, Australia, about 1km away from the ocean.
Im fairly sure the spider is an huntsman spider but I do not know about the wasp. Does it normally prey on spiders and other large insects ? Where does it nest, and does it pose a threat to humans ?
(I live with my grandparents, and to say they are squeamish about insects is an understatement)
EDIT : I realized that the wasp has been featured previously on this site, however, I shall share these high resolution (if you think they are) images of what I found. I also catch huntsman spiders inside my home and release them too. I shall attach those too, if you wish to share them.
I hope you find the images to be of reasonable quality and I hope they will be useful for your site. You may repost/embed the video to your site too, if you wish.
We actually have this particular Food Chain drama posted to our website several times including this recent posting of a Spider Wasp and its Huntsman Spider prey. We believe the Spider Wasp is Cryptocheilus bicolor, but we do not feel confident trying to identify the Huntsman Spider to the species lever because there are so many Huntsman Spiders in Australia.
Spider Wasps are solitary wasps, and a female provisions the nest with paralyzed spiders for her brood. The adult Spider Wasps feed upon pollen, and only the larval wasps are carnivores, but they are unable to hunt for themselves. It is important to realize that this Huntsman Spider is paralyzed, not dead. A dead spider would soon dry out, making it an unacceptable food for the larvae. By paralyzing the Huntsman Spider, the living spider supplies the larval wasp with fresh meat. The larva feeds upon non-vital meat first so that the spider is literally eaten alive. Since the nest is underground and we have received so many images of this particular Spider Wasp scaling walls while dragging a large paralyzed Huntsman Spider, we have deduced that the Spider Wasp is unable to take off from the ground with such a heavy payload, but by climbing to gain altitude, it is able to fly or glide towards its burrow with the heavy Spider in tow. Spider Wasps are not aggressive, though we suspect they may sting if provoked or carelessly handled.