Currently viewing the category: "spider wasps"

Nice and fun site. Here’s a spider wasp of some sort dragging what seems to be an orb weaver to its lair. Photgraphed in central Texas (about 70 miles east of Austin) on 9/6/2005. Any idea of the genus and species? Thanks for you reply. Absolutely fine if you post. Charles Vannoy, my father-in-law, took the picture.
Glenn Davis

Hi Glenn,
We are pretty certain this is an Anoplius Spider Wasp, but the puzzling thing is they prey on Wolf Spiders and Funnel Web Spiders. Yours is preying on a Garden Spider in the genus Argiope. We will get a second opinion when Eric Eaton returns. Here is what Eric has to say: ” The spider wasp with the garden spider is indeed an Anoplius. Good grief, I didn’t realize they could take prey that big!”

Correction:  September 2, 2013
Thanks to a correction from Nick in a comment, we can link to BugGuide regarding
Poecilopompilus algidus.


Hey Bugman,
Any idea what this cool red and blue flying creature might be? I saw him dragging this huge dead spider across my driveway. Is it possible that it made the kill?

Hi Todd,
First the Spider Wasp did NOT make the kill. The spider is alive. The spider is paralyzed. The spider will become food for the young wasp. The female wasp will provision a nest with spiders that are stung and paralyzed and then lay an egg. The egg hatches and begins to feed on the still living spider, a fresh food source. We are not sure of the species, but have located what looks like your wasp on BugGuide. It is listed as the genus Tachypompilus. We have put in a query to a real expert, Eric Eaton for substantiation.

Ed. Note: We just heard back from Eric Eaton who agrees: “VERY hard to tell from the image, but the prey (wolf spider) suggests that this is indeed Tachypompilus. One other possibility is Poecilopompilus, but they attack orb weavers, and I have not seen one with violaceous wings. So, yes, Tachypompilus. Eric “

More unidentified critters
I photographed one at a local park here in Southern Cal. Hoping you could help me identify them.

Hi Rus,
You have outdone yourself with this Tarantula Hawk, Pepsis species photograph. The orange antennae are not something we are used to seeing. Curved antennae signify a female who has a powerful stinger. She uses it to paralyze tarantulas, the food for the larval wasps.