Currently viewing the category: "spider wasps"
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

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