Currently viewing the category: "spider wasps"
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

Subject: A bug
Location: Cairo, Egypt
August 11, 2017 12:54 pm
It is beautiful
Signature: Alphons

Spider Wasp

Dear Alphons,
We wish your image had better resolution.  This appears to be a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae. It might be
Cyphononyx bretonii which is pictured on Wasp Web where it states that it is found in Egypt as well as many other parts of Africa.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider Wasp
Location: Near Pittsburgh PA
July 11, 2017 4:51 am
I’m pretty sure this a spider wasp (Pompilidae) of some sort, but I hope that you can tell what variety.
Signature: Terry M

Spider Wasp with Prey

Dear Terry,
Based on BugGuide images, we are pretty confident your Spider Wasp is
Tachypompilus ferrugineus, and of the genus, BugGuide states:  “Adults are often found taking nectar from flowers (Daucus, Pastinaca, and Eryngium). Females provision nests mainly with Lycosids.”  Based on that information, the prey is most likely a Wolf Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tarantula hawk?
Location: Rauco, Maule, Chile
April 6, 2017 6:16 pm
I spotted this beautiful looking insect in my garden in central Chile today,
I’ve looked about online and it seems to look like a Tarantula hawk! wow. The only other pictures that look the same, with the metallic blue colour and orange anteni, were from Puerto Rico and Cosa Rica , so surprising to see one all the way down here.
Also, slightly concerning that when I saw it my puppy was playing with it, the sting being described as “like a lightning bolt struck the spot, the pain is beyong imagination” on a BBC article I read. Did my puppy have a lucky escape?
The picture isn’t great quality, sorry, but I thought it would be worth a look!
Signature: Tristan

Spider Wasp

Dear Tristan,
Even before beginning any research, we are confident that this is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, the same family that includes Tarantula Hawks.  To Be Continued …

…  The image of a Tarantula Hawk with its prey from Chile posted on Birdspiders.com and taken by Arachnologist Rick C. West proves the genus Pepsis, the Tarantula Hawks, is represented in Chile.  Instagram also contains an image of Pepsis limbata from Chile, but both of those example are of orange winged Tarantula Hawks with black antennae.  A North American species pictured on BugGuide, Entypus fulvicornis, is colored like your individual.  Of the genus, BugGuide indicates:  “The genus is found practically transcontinentally but some species have restricted ranges”  and “Adults provision a pre-existing cavity or modification of a pre-existing cavity with a Lycosid spider.”  Since it preys upon Wolf Spiders, it is theoretically NOT a Tarantula Hawk, but of the genus Pepsis, BugGuide states:  “The related Spider Wasp genera, Hemipepsis and Entypus, are also quite large and can look very similar to Pepsis. These three genera are best distinguished by details of wing venation.”  BugGuide also has a nice comparison of the wing veination patterns of several genera in the tribe Pepsini.  If you still have the specimen, that comparison may help you identify the genus of your gorgeous Spider Wasp, that might be a Tarantula Hawk.  If your puppy captured this impressive Spider Wasp while it was alive, your puppy was indeed lucky to have avoided a sting.  The USU.edu site does have a Spider Wasp page with a listing of members of both the genus Pepsis and the genus Entypus from Chile.  We could not locate any images of Entypus lepeletieri online, and the other listed species is actually a subspecies, Entypus unifasciatus dumosus.   BugGuide does have images of orange tipped black winged Entypus unifasciatus, however the subspecies pictured are different than the subspecies found in Chile.  Insectoid lists 10 subspecies of Entypus unifasciatus, including E. unifasciatus dumosus, but there is no image available.  We believe we have exhausted our potential internet research at this time.

Thank you for the very informative reply.
I thought I saved it from my puppy, but perhaps it was the other way round.
I wish I kept it or got more photos, but it managed to fly away after multiple puppy pounces/nibbles. Spider wasps are certainly tough!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Wasp
Location: Gujarat, India
February 5, 2017 5:16 pm
Hello Sir,
I have been a fan of your website since long and it has helped me in a lit of ways. You encourage me to identify animals around me and it helps me get to know them better. I am currently graduating from zoology and you have a fair bit of share in it. I mostly search and find the species of the animal but i found one particular wasp like creature lurking in my garden . I kept you as my final option. I guess we cant identify all. I hope you help me out like you always do. Thank you.
Season : Start of Spring
Location : India
PS- The pictures may not be that much clear coz i took it with a 5MP camera.
Signature: Rajrajeshwar

Spider Wasp from India

Dear Rajrareshwar,
This appears to be a Spider Wasp in the family Pompiliidae.  Here is a similar looking Spider Wasp from India on FlickR.  The female Spider Wasps hunts and paralyzes Spiders to feed to her brood.

Spider Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination