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Spider Wasp (Auplopus) (Auplopus mellipes)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Spider Wasp (Auplopus).

 Updated: 3/12/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Spider Wasps become unexpected friends to other insects by eliminating a shared predator.



Spider Wasps are wasps that hunt spiders. This black and orange species attacks Jumping spiders and paralyzes them. The wasp may even yank off a few, or all, of a spider's legs to expedite transporting it to its nest. The wasp's jaws are strong and it holds onto a spider as the wasp walks, or flies the spider back home. This species is capable of a painful sting and is best given a 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.

Spider wasps create nests from mud pots that have been used and abandoned by Mud Daubers, another type of wasp. A female drops the paralyzed spider in one of the pots and lays a fertilized egg in there with it. She closes the pot with mud or plant debris. Once the wasp larva hatches, it eats the internal parts of the spider as it grows. Although the larva is carnivorous in a parasitic way, the diet of wasp adults changes to flower nectar.



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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Pompilidae
          Genus: Auplopus
            Species: mellipes
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Auplopus mellipes
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 36mm (0.78in to 1.40in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, orange
Descriptors: flying, stinging, mud, pots, barrels
Territorial Map
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Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
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
Graphic showing basic anatomy of both a bee and an ant insect
1
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
2
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
3
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
5
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.