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

Subject: Tarantula Hawk
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 08/01/2019
Time: 10:26 AM EDT
Daniel was out working in the yard when he spotted a large, metallic green wasp well over 1 1/2 inches in length.  Alas, there was no camera handy and the wasp quickly flew off after running on the ground for a few seconds with an agitated style and its wings quivering.  Upon some research, and comparing images on The Natural History of Orange County and on BugGuide, Daniel believes it was a Tarantula Hawk, possibly
Pepsis mexicana, and that is why this image from our archives is being used to illustrate this new posting.

Tarantula Hawk

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spider wasp and prey
Geographic location of the bug:  Charleston, Illinois
Date: 05/15/2019
Time: 01:11 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw you were looking for a image of this spider and its prey. Just a cell phone picture but shows key features.
How you want your letter signed:  Christopher S

Spider Wasp and Wolf Spider Prey

Dear Christopher,
Thanks so much for submitting your awesome image of a Spider Wasp,
Entypus unifasciatus, and its Wolf Spider prey.  The Wolf Spider will not be eaten by the Spider Wasp.  She feeds on nectar from flowers, and the paralyzed Wolf Spider will provide fresh food for a larval Spider Wasp which will eat its paralyzed meal alive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  lage wasp like
Geographic location of the bug:  Suriname, South America
Date: 02/17/2019
Time: 08:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi i live in Suriname and never came across this bug before. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Marlon

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Marlon,
This appears to be a Tarantula Hawk in the genus
Pepsis, or a closely related genus.  Female Tarantula Hawks prey upon Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders, stinging them to paralyze them.  The paralyzed Tarantula is buried after the female Tarantula Hawk lays an egg.  When the egg hatches, the larva feeds on the still living, but paralyzed Tarantula.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black wasp with orange wings
Geographic location of the bug:  In Genesee id
Date: 10/13/2018
Time: 09:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey, so I have never seen one of these before… Google said it is a tarantula wasp??? Just curious what it is…
How you want your letter signed:  Shara cook

Spider Wasp

Dear Shara,
Tarantula Hawks are Spider Wasps in the genera
Pepsis and Hemipepsis that prey on Tarantulas, and according to BugGuide data, the latter genus is not found as far north as Idaho, and similarly, BugGuide data on the genus Pepsis also shows a more southern range.  Other Spider Wasps have similar coloration.  Your individual might be Calopompilus pyrrhomelas which is pictured on BugGuide and reported from Idaho based on BugGuide data.

Are they dangerous, or like a normal sting or bite?   I picked it up with a leaf , and put it in the sun.   It was cold on my porch.

Spider Wasps are not aggressive towards humans, and Tarantula Hawks are reported to have very painful stings.  Since your individual is also a member of the tribe Pepsini that includes Tarantula Hawks, it might also have a painful sting.  Again, Spider Wasps are not aggressive, but they can sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spider Wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Omaha, Nebraska
Date: 08/29/2018
Time: 03:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I thought this was one bug when I saw it out the corner of my eye. Nope! It was a wasp carrying a big spider.
How you want your letter signed: Alissa Apel
anapeladay.com

Spider Wasp with Prey

Dear Alissa,
Your images of a female Spider Wasp with her prey are awesome.  The Spider wasp is
 Entypus unifasciatus and the prey is likely a large Wolf Spider.

Spider Wasp with Prey

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spider Wasp: Entypus unifasciatus
Geographic location of the bug:  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Date: 08/22/2018
Time: 06:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Encountered this Spider wasp attempting to haul off his bounty today…wolf spider. A rather large wolf spider at that.
Respect for anything that takes care of these nasty spiders for me.
How you want your letter signed:  Stefanie

Spider Wasp with Wolf Spider Prey

Dear Stefanie,
Only female Spider Wasps hunt for prey to feed the brood.  We agree your wasp is
Entypus unifasciatus, and according to BugGuide:  “Females dig a burrow that ends in a terminal chamber off of the side of a mammal burrow or large crack in the ground. The serrations on the hind tibiae are used to aid the movement of soil out of the burrow entrance. The position in which the egg is laid is unknown. Larvae feed on one large spider and, as in all Pompilids that have one generation per year, overwinter as pupae.”

Correction:  January 23, 2018
In reference to the August 22, 2018 photo of Entypus unifasciatus from Oklahoma City, OK by “Stephanie,” the host spider is Syspira sp. (Prowling spider)(Miturgidae). Of 414 host records for this species of wasp, this is the first host record (1/414, 0.02%) for this family of spider. We do, however, have the same genus and family host record for the congener Entypus aratus from Mexico. We should like to acknowledge “What’s That Bug” and Stephanie for this extremely rare and highly unusual host record. Does Stephanie have a last name to accompany this record in our forthcoming publication on spider wasps? Thank you. Keep up the good work.

Retraction of Correction:  March 4, 2019
When I first saw the image I thought it was a lycosid (wolf spider).  I sent it to an arachnologist at the CAS and he identified the spider as Genus Syspira, Family Miturgidae.  Since then I have consulted two other arachnologists, one from SDSU in CA, and they both informed me that the genus Syspira does not occur in Oklahoma.  They checked hundreds of museum records for this genus through a third arachnologist at Colorado State University and the genus does not occur in SE CO nor in N Texas.  They think the spider is in the genus Hogna (Lycosidae) but cannot be certain because, unfortunately, they cannot see the eye arrangement from the side view photograph.  I’ve sent your higher resolution out for additional study but, since the genus Syspira does not occur in Oklahoma, this is probably a moot exercise.  Thank you for your effort in aiding this identification dilemma.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination