Subject: Mystery wasp
January 5, 2015 10:24 am
I took these photos of this spectacular-looking insect in Cuba on December 11th last year. It was big – I suppose around 4 inches long.
Having done a lot of searching on the net, I have not found any photos of an insect exactly like this one. It resembles pictures of tarantula wasps, but none of the others I’ve seen have the same colouring or the segmented yellow antennae. I did discover that there are tarantula wasp mimics, so perhaps this bug is a mimic?
I hope you can help me.
Thanks in advance
This is a gorgeous Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and it could well be a species of Tarantula Hawk. Your individual looks very similar to Pepsis menechma which is pictured on BugGuide. In 2006, we posted this image of a Cuban Tarantula Hawk, but alas, it does not show the antennae. We are postdating your submission to go live during our absence from the office next week.
Ah yes, I did see the dried-up bug photo and wondered if it had looked like mine when alive. You’re right my blue bug was gorgeous and I was very lucky to see it on my last morning before leaving to fly back to England.
Many thanks for your help, Daniel.