Subject: 3 Namibian Insects
November 18, 2015 9:44 am
Hello Daniel. By coincidence I spotted your great website. I was in Namibia this year. Could you please help me to identify these 3 insects? Thanks a lot in advance, Bye-bye, Becky from Munich-Germany
Details to Image 1: Namutoni Restcamp, Etosha NP-Namibia, on our picnic blanket, 07-May-2015, 4pm, size about 2 inch (5cm)
Details to Image 2: at the Hoba Meteorite near Grootfontein-Namibia, 09-May-2015, 11am, size about 0.4 inch (1cm)
Details to Image 3: Anderson Campsite, Waterberg-Namibia, 11-May-2015, 9am, size about 0.3 inch (8mm)
Signature: Becky, Munich-Germany
We believe both Image 1 and Image 2 are Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae. We found a nice visual match to image 1 on iSpot, and your image clearly shows spines on the legs which agree with this BugGuide description for the family: “Slender with long and spiny legs, hind femora typically extending beyond tip of abdomen. Tibiae of rear legs have two prominent spines at apex (distal end, next to tarsi).” We found a close visual match to image 2 on iSpot as well where it is identified as probably in the genus Hemipepsis. Female Spider Wasps hunt and sting Spiders, paralyzing them but not killing them. The female then drags the spider to her underground nest where she buries it and lays an egg. When the egg hatches, it has a live, but paralyzed spider to feed upon.
Thanks a lot for the prompt answer. Wow, you guys are great! That you´ve found 2 visual matches. I have stared for hours at google-pics, insect sites, etc.
As a kid, I never was so fond of insects, but the diversity of all of them really fascinates me now. That´s why I did not only made pics of “common” animals like Lion, giraffe, etc., but insects as well. But they are so hard to id.!!
Thanks again Daniel, and a lot of succes with your website (I´ve put it into my favourites)
Becky from Munich-Germany