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

Subject: Wasp?
Location: Skippers, VA.
September 12, 2016 10:04 pm
I found this in our woods in southern Virginia July 30th. It was constantly moving it’s wings and legs while sitting on this leaf. The colors almost look neon orange to me on it’s antennae. I’m new to photography so I hope this photo is okay. Can you please tell me what kind of bug it is?
Signature: thedogzoo

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear thedogzoo,
We have identified your beautiful Spider Wasp as
Entypus unifasciatus thanks to this BugGuide image.  Female Spider Wasps provision nests with paralyzed Spiders as food for her brood.  According to BugGuide:  “This species is a typical late summer-early Autumn species in the east (nominal subspecies). July-September (North Carolina). In Ohio (and probably most of the northeast) some adults appear in late June, but most in early July. Most females are seen provisioning from mid-July to September. Out of all individuals seen from Ohio the peak in numbers of captures was from the last half of August.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange body/Blue wing Wasp – dragging/burying spider
Location: Ocala, FL
September 8, 2016 5:45 pm
Saw this the other day and at first thought the spider had the bug, until the bug ran off in circles for a second and then went back and started dragging the spider to a small hole in the sand. He then started to bury the spider. I actually have video, so these are stills. Just wondering what it is and whether or not it is a danger to any pets (assuming you don’t have pet spiders).
Signature: Ginger

Spider Wasp with Wolf Spider

Spider Wasp with Wolf Spider

Hi Ginger,
We believe your Spider Wasp is
Tachypompilus ferrugineus based on images and range information on BugGuide.  Of the genus, BugGuide notes:  “Adults are often found taking nectar from flowers (Daucus, Pastinaca, and Eryngium). Females provision nests mainly with Lycosids.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Un-identified flying bug
Location: Boise, Idaho
August 2, 2016 7:19 pm
My wife spotted this bug carrying a large wolf spider up the inside wall if the sprinkler valve box. The spider was still twitching which has lead me to believe this was the killer. I live in Boise Idaho. This was seen today August 1st. Sorry the photos are lousy, I didn’t dare get closer.
Signature: Nick

Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider

Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider

Dear Nick,
Despite the poor quality of your images, this Spider Wasp,
Tachypompilus ferrugineus, is quite recognizable.  The reason the Wolf Spider was still twitching is that it is still alive.  This Spider Wasp will not be eating this Wolf Spider.  Like most wasps, Spider Wasps feed upon nectar from flowers and other sweets like overly ripe fruit.  This living Wolf Spider has been paralyzed so that it can provide a living food source, meaning fresh meat, for the larva that hatches from the egg the Spider Wasp will lay on the Wolf Spider once she has dragged it to the underground nest she has excavated.  According to MOBugs:  “The females of this species are expert spider hunters. They seek large species of spiders such as wolf spiders to paralyze. They will sting the spider with a fast acting venom designed to subdue their prey, but not kill it. She will then drag the unfortunate victim to a safe spot and secret it away out of sight. She will then lay her eggs on the spider and leave to hunt for more victims. It takes a few days for the eggs to hatch and during that time the spider will remain very much alive, just in a constant state of paralytic motionlessness. When the eggs hatch they will feed on the spider so lovingly provided for it by its mother. ” 

Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider

Spider Wasp preys upon Wolf Spider

Sounds horrible! Thanks for the quick reply.
Nick

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help identifying this insect
Location: Greater DC area
July 5, 2016 8:04 am
Hi there – we have been seeing these around our home, just the last few weeks (so starting in mid-June). Not a lot of them but still… Can’t decide if it’s a wasp or if it’s a Mydas Fly variety or…?
The lighting isn’t great – i couldn’t get him to cooperate – but the body detail is pretty good. His legs and abdomen are both this red color but his wings are black.
We live in the greater DC area, by the way. We live out in farmland area, with both some small suburbs and some wetlands nearby.
Signature: ??

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

This is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and we believe it is most likely Tachypompilus ferrugineus which is pictured on BugGuide.  Spider Wasps are not aggressive, but they can sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Zombie Wasp?
Location: Household basement of Pueblo, Colorado
June 25, 2016 7:27 am
Found this little guy in my grandmothers basement this morning. Now i’ve never been much of a bug enthusiast until I found this little guy and here is why. After flying through several cobwebs he tired out and hit the floor. After which my grandmother proceeded to try and kill it by stepping on it. after 4 attempts with a steel toe boot the creature revives itself after every attempt and walks off seemingly unscratched. The insect has a jet black body and dark blue wings with a body type very similar to a wasp. Though the actual head of the creature looks to be more like a fly. The insect also has 2 antennas that are curled at the ends. Any ideas about this small zombie?
Signature: Paranoid Captor

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Paranoid Captor,
This is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompillidae, and it might be one of the Tarantula Hawks, perhaps
Pepsis mexicana which is pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tarantula Hawk Long Beach
Location: Long Beach CA
April 20, 2016 2:49 pm
Hi, I first saw one of these beauties scouring my yard in the early mornings and late afternoons 3 years ago. I could not find anyone who’d seen one here and my tentative identification of Tarantula Hawk seemed insane. But they keep showing up the 2nd-3rd week of April every year and my neighbors are seeing them now too.
I notice you said you’d never seen one in Mt. Washington and assumed this was because their prey had diminished. That’s my REAL question. Since they are successfully reproducing, I wonder what kind of spiders are also making a comeback? Is my yard home to tarantulas? Trapdoors?
I’m about 10 blocks from the ocean and quite a ways between both rivers. I think tarantula were native here before urbanization and, well, every year now is the hottest year on record…
Incidentally, I think their behavior (the females) is noteworthy for identification purposes. They are OBSESSED. They fly very low over grass, or run around cracks in concrete, over and over and over for a couple of hours every day and return to the same place the same time the next day. They take off in a hurry at my approach but immediately return to their task. I suspect they divvy up territory and I’m seeing the same wasp return to the same place? (There’s a different spot in my front yard that attracts another). I THINK the occasional stray that cruises in, flies higher, lights on a branch or just plain doesn’t appear to have OCD disorder is the male hoping to get lucky? I’ve spent lots of time observing them, but I’ve yet to figure out where they go when they’re not hunting (do they live in the ground too?) or see one catch a spider.
Signature: Curious

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Curious,
To the best of our knowledge, only two genera from the Spider Wasp Tribe Pepsini are officially Tarantula Hawks.  We believe your have a member of the tribe, possibly
Calopompilus pyrrhomelas based on this BugGuide image and others posted to the site.  The brown tips on the wings is similar to your individual.  According to BugGuide, the prey for the species is this Trapdoor Spider.  Despite the similarity in coloration, we believe your individual is a Spider Wasp, but not the more specific Tarantula Hawk.  Arachnoboards has an interesting discussion regarding Tarantula Hawks in Long Beach.

Thank you so much. They may “belong” here, but no one I know has ever seen one and suddenly they’re enjoying a population boom. Don’t know if its a comeback, or they arrived on native plants, or they abandoned a habitat that’s gotten too hot. But we apparently have the spiders they need!
I’m normally paranoid of wasps due to allergies, but these aren’t even slightly aggressive. I’ve gotten to watch them so closely because they fly in easy range of my fascinated cats, so I supervise the cats’ outdoor time in order to stop them from pouncing on the wasps.
I’m attaching a better photo, and if I ever catch sight of the the trapdoors, will try to pass along a photo of them.
Your service is fantastic!

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination