Subject: Tarantula hawk?
Geographic location of the bug: Highlands of Chiriqui, Rep of Panamá
Time: 04:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: We saw this approx 2 inch wasp? scuttling across a spare lot on our community today. We do see tarantulas reasonably often and wondered if it was a female hunting for a host. Is there any way to differentiate between a male or female? Never seen another one in our 8 years in Panamá, the colours looked beautiful in the sunshine. Thanks, Carol
How you want your letter signed: Carol
We are very confident this is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, but we cannot state for certain that it is a Tarantula Hawk. Your individual resembles this image posted to FlickR. The hunting behavior you witnessed indicates this is likely a female. Males do not hunt for spiders, and they can generally be found nectaring.