Currently viewing the category: "spider wasps"
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

Subject: Blue Wing Bug
Location: Hong Kong
January 19, 2017 2:41 am
Would you please help to identify this bug?
It’s around 30-40mm long, blue wings, orange head and legs, dark blue body.
Thanks a lot!
Signature: Alex L

Spider Wasp

Hi Alex,
This is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompillidae.  We will attempt a species identification when we have more time.

Spider Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Australian wasp
Location: Hornsby NSW
December 3, 2016 1:03 am
My wife captured this shot in our front garden. I wonder if the wasp removed the huntsman spiders legs for transport purposes?
Signature: Australian wasp

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Prey

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Prey

We get several very dramatic submissions from Australia each year of Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae with Huntsman Spider prey.  The female Spider Wasps stings and paralyzes the Huntsman Spider and then drags it back to her burrow where she lays an egg on the paralyzed Spider.  When the egg hatches, the wasp larva feeds on the living but paralyzed Spider.  It appears that your Spider Wasp has removed the legs of the Huntsman Spider by biting them off in order to make transportation easier.  Based on images posted to the Brisbane Insect site, we believe your Spider Wasp is in the genus Fabriogenia.

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Prey

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Prey

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful Wasp
Location: Chiriqui, panama
November 12, 2016 8:27 pm
Hi Bugman, I saw this wasp at a gas station in Panama in October. A tour guide said it was a spider hawk but the internet pictures of those show they have orange wings. The closest thing I found to this is the great black wasp but the wings are not the same shape. Any ideas?
Signature: Lori Mailloux

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Lori,
We agree with the tour guide that this is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and Tarantula Hawks belong to a genera of Spider Wasps, and many, but not all, have orange wings.  Alas, we have not had any luck finding any matching images online.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Lg flying bug orange iridescent wings San Diego
Location: San Diego County
September 28, 2016 7:43 pm
Today I was atop a huge 20ft Boulder at the summit of 3600ft in San Diego County.
This flying insect (seemed like a small humming bird) launched several assaults from hundreds of feet away at me, never really close. Displayed quite the acrobatic maneuvers. What is it?
Signature: Buzzed by big ufo

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Buzzed by big ufo,
Though your image lacks clarity, this Tarantula Hawk in unmistakable.  Tarantula Hawks are large Spider Wasps that generally have black bodies with bright orange wings.  Though they are not aggressive toward humans, they are reported to have an extremely painful sting.  Female Tarantula Hawks hunt Tarantulas, stinging them to paralyze, but not kill them.  The paralyzed Tarantula is then dragged back to an underground burrow where it is buried after the Tarantula Hawk lays an egg.  When the egg hatches, the larval wasp feeds on the still living, but paralyzed Tarantula that acts as a source of fresh (not dried out) food.

Daniel,
I’ve attached additional photos.
Also, this was aggressive to show its displeasure,  although I was 50-100ft from its origin, but it may be due to my wearing a bright orange shirt…
Thanks,
Thanks so much.
This one does have a much larger body than most.
—Jim

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination