Subject: Black and Orange ?
Location: Claremont & Upland California
May 3, 2014 10:39 am
Area found Claremont and Upland, Ca
Found in April and May 2014
One was about 1/2 the size of a dragonfly and the other was a little over 1 ” long.
25 years of gardening and I have never seen this bug, any idea what it is?
Signature: Dee

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Hi Dee,
This is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and it appears to be a small Tarantula Hawk.
  You can see some examples on BugGuide that are classified in the genera Hemipepsis and Pepsis.  The female Tarantula Hawk preys upon Tarantulas and other large spiders including Trapdoor Spiders, not to eat, but to feed her young.  The Tarantula is paralyzed and buried with a single egg.  When the larval wasp hatches, it feeds on the fresh meet of the living, but paralyzed Tarantula.  Adult Tarantula Hawks are nectar feeders, and the sting is reported to be quite painful.

Location: Claremont, California

2 Responses to Spider Wasp

  1. Ellen says:

    We found a dead tarantula hawk outdoors, several years ago. It was *gigantic*! I guess it would have to be in order to drag a tarantula around.

    • bugman says:

      They are very impressive creatures. We recall seeing Tarantula Hawks in Baja California, Mexico that were the size of a small bird.

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