Currently viewing the category: "spider wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unindentified Wasp kills large weaver spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Western Virginia, United States
Date: 07/16/2018
Time: 04:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I photographed this bright blue- winged, orange bodied wasp? pulling a large weaver spider across the deck and then backwards (up a 20 foot chimney) until out of sight! Please help identify. We have four children in the home and would like to know if this is an aggressive species with a sting anything like a tarantula hawk?? It was upset at the close up photograph,on the deck, it let go of the spider and flew at me. I ran inside for a minute and it went back to the spider.
How you want your letter signed:  Naomi, Covington Virginia

Spider Wasp with Prey

Dear Naomi,
This Spider Wasp appears to be
Tachypompilus ferrugineus, and it is not an aggressive species.  While many wasps are capable of stinging, solitary species like this Spider Wasp very rarely sting people, and generally that happens only when they are carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Lincoln Nebraska
Date: 07/13/2018
Time: 11:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This buzzed by my sidters house today and I’ve never seen anything like it.  Is it dangerous? They have kids and pets to keep safe.
How you want your letter signed:  Concerned Sister

Spider Wasp

Dear Concerned Sister,
The time for your concern is long passed since it appears the Spider Wasp in this image was already dispatched with some type of spray that formed puddles around its body.  Spider Wasps are not aggressive, though the might sting if carelessly handled.  They are considered beneficial as they help to keep Spider populations in check.  Many insects accidentally enter the home, and the best way to remove them alive is to trap them in a glass, and then slip a postcard between the glass and the surface so the insect can be safely transported outside.  We believe the Spider Wasp in your image is
Tachypompilus ferrugineus based on this BugGuide image.  Here is an image of a Spider Wasp with its prey.  Because we feel this harmless Spider Wasp was dispatched unnecessarily, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Thanks for the reply. I’m glad to have the info. The insect was only a bit stunned by the water. Enough to be able to catch and release it. It flew off a few minutes later, according to my sister. But it sure gave her a fright and I couldn’t identify it as anything I’ve ever seen. I’ll pass the info along that she doesn’t need to be afraid if she see another.  She was watering plants and just sprayed it with the water bottle, took pic, and got it out of the house in a Tupperware. Again thanks for the info.
Thanks for that information.  We will post your addition and remove the Unnecessary Carnage tag.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Flying stinging bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Perth Western Australia
Date: 03/04/2018
Time: 07:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My mother has been stung by this and I have no idea what it is
How you want your letter signed:  Stinging bug

Spider Wasp, we believe

The antennae and the spines on the hind legs lead us to believe this is a species of Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, but alas, we have not had any luck locating any images online that look like your individual.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.  According to Brisbane Insects:  “Most of the Spider Warps [sic] are orange and black, black and grey/white markings or just black, i.e., the very strong warning colours. They usually have tinted wings, smooth and shiny body. Their hind-legs are long and always have two prominent spurs. They tend to coil their antennae. They usually hunting on ground with the characteristic wing flicking movement.  Females have very powerful sting.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Big black wasp in Namibia
Geographic location of the bug:  Windhoek, Namibia
Date: 02/04/2018
Time: 12:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We came across a bush that had 20 – 40 large black wasps feeding on it – they were stunningly beautiful and made a ‘helicopter’ sort of sound. There were many other types of wasps/bugs as well but these ones were just huge.  I’d love to find out what they were and read up on them.
How you want your letter signed:  Fiona L

Spider Wasps

Dear Fiona,
We are uncertain of the species, but we are quite confident these are Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae.  As your image indicates, adults are frequently found nectaring on flowers including milkweed, and the female preys upon spiders which she paralyzes and then drags to her underground burrow where the immobile, but still living Spider becomes food for the larva that hatches from the egg she lays on the Spider.  There are some nice images of a female Spider Wasp and her prey on Africa Geographic.

Hi Daniel
Thank you so much.  I have now done a bit of reading on these things and feel privileged to have been so close to so many of them at once.  Poor spiders though!
Fiona

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Niagara Falls, Ontario
Date: 09/25/2017
Time: 12:06 PM EDT
What is this wasp dragging a spider across the deck? The iridescent blue wings and striped body, rusty colored legs and eyes are beautiful. It was very fast but I was able to get a very short video of it.
How you want your letter signed:  Dawn

Spider Wasp with Prey

Dear Dawn,
This is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and female members of the family hunt and paralyze Spider to feed to the developing brood.  Your species,
Tachypompilus ferrugineus, does not have a species specific common name.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults are often found taking nectar from flowers (Daucus, Pastinaca, and Eryngium). Females provision nests mainly with Lycosids” meaning the Spider in your image is most likely a Wolf Spider.

Spider Wasp and Prey

Thank you Daniel. It is extraordinary that you replied so quickly and it is much appreciated. I will write a short story for the Bert Miller Nature Club’s fall Rambler newsletter and give reference to What’s That Bug and the information you provided.
Sincerely,
Dawn Pierrynowski

Spider Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red body w/black stripes, blue wings
Location: Northeast Ohio (Fairport Harbor)
August 13, 2017 2:39 pm
I searched an insect identification website and could not find anything that matched this. It’s similar, but different enough from a flying carpenter ant or digger wasp.
This insect was found in my basement, in an empty laundry basket. I took it outside and photographed it. It’s got a smooth body (not hairy like a digger wasp) and the body is more red than a carpenter ant. This insect is probably 1.5 inches long, and the legs appear to also be more than an inch long. It was very slow moving, as if stunned.
August 13 (summer here in northeast Ohio). Today was 75-80 degrees and partly cloudy. My house is near Lake Erie, in the Village of Fairport Harbor.
I appreciate any insight.
Signature: Adam

Spider Wasp

Dear Adam,
This Spider Wasp is
Tachypompilus ferrugineus.  Spider Wasps are solitary wasps and they are not aggressive.  Female Spider Wasps hunt for Spiders as food for a developing brood, often located in an underground burrow.  You can compare your images to this BugGuide image.  Spider Wasps tend to be very active, so the sluggish behavior on the part of your individual might be related to its being trapped in your basement without food.  Adult Spider Wasps are pollinators frequently found visiting blossoms.

Spider Wasp

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide me the information. Your BugGuide image is exactly what I saw. I’ll keep an eye out for more in the future.  I have plenty of flowers and spiders in my yard.  Have a great day!
-Adam

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination