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Spider Wasp (Enytpus unifasciatus)


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

 Updated: 8/27/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Large enough to take down a formidable arachnid opponent, the Spider Wasp uses all of its advantages to feed its offspring.



This species of Spider Wasp has a sleek, blue-black body. Dark wings are tipped in orange and bright yellow-orange antennae add warning coloration. The large size, stinging power, and strength of the female wasp allow it to take on spiders of similar or perhaps larger size, and win. Males are not as large. Adults drink flower nectar.

Attacking from flight helps give the wasp a tactical advantage. After a short tussle, when the Spider Wasp manages to overtake the spider and sting it, paralysis ends the scuffle. The female wasp then grabs the immobile spider and brings it back to a ground burrow that may have been abandoned by a rodent. At the end of this burrow is a deep cell or chamber. While depositing the spider there, she lays a fertilized egg. Once the egg hatches, the larva begins eating the spider while it is alive, but still paralyzed. Once the larva grows large enough, it pupates in this cell over the winter, and emerges as a winged adult in the early summer.

Because females lay many eggs in a season, they must collect multiple spiders as food stores. This usually means that their appearance is a bit haggard and worn out by the end of summer thanks to the many battles they had to fight. Look for this species of Spider Wasp in lots, fields, parks, and other open areas.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Pompilidae
          Genus: Enytpus
            Species: unifasciatus
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Enytpus unifasciatus
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 35mm (0.59in to 1.37in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, orange, yellow
Descriptors: yellow antennae, wasp, orange-tipped wings, blue, shiny, stinging, flying, big, large
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of Delware graphic
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State of New Mexico graphic
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State of North Carolina graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
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.