Spider Wasps become unexpected friends to other insects by removing a shared predator.
Spider Wasps are wasps that hunt spiders. This species will attack a jumping spider and paralyze it. The wasp may even pull off a few, or all, of its legs to expedite transport to its nest. The chelicerae (jaws) are strong and they hold onto the spider as the wasp walks, or flies if the spider is small, it back home.
Spider wasps nest in mud pots that have been created and abandoned by Mud Daubers, another type of wasp. A female will drop the paralyzed spider in one of the pots and lay a fertilized egg in there with it. They close the pot with mud or plant debris. Once the wasp larvae hatches, it eats the internal parts of the spider as it grows. Although the larvae are carnivorous in an almost gruesome way, adults are flower-loving and drink nectar.
This insect is capable of painful stinging and is best given wide berth, especially if it is a nesting female. This species can be found in woods, forests and other habitats that allow for good hunting.
Scientific Name: Auplopus mellipes
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 36mm (0.78in to 1.40in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees and Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.