Subject: Australian Unknown – Newport, Victoria
Location: Newport, Victoria, Australia
March 8, 2013 2:59 am
This unknown bug was photographed on 3/8/13 in Newport, Victoria, Australia. It is dragging a dead Huntsman spider.
Please identify, if possible. Sorry about the blurry pic.
Thanks for the help!
Despite the blurry photos, we have not probems with this identification because we have seen this particular drama play out numerous times in the past. We regularly get submissions of Spider Wasps with Huntsman Spider prey from Australia, and your wasp appears to be Cryptocheilus bicolor, a relatively common species in Australia. Only the female hunts spiders, and only the female is capable of stinging. The Huntsman Spider will not be eaten by the wasp that hunted it, but rather by her progeny. She will drag the spider back to a burrow and bury it after laying a single egg. The spider isn’t dead, but rather paralyzed, and it will supply the wasp larva with fresh meat. The larva will eat nonvital organs first and the spider will be eaten alive.