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Spider Wasp (Entypus) (Enytpus unifasciatus)


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



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Image Credit: Scott S. from PA
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Large enough to take down a formidable arachnid opponent, the Spider Wasp uses all of its advantages to feed its offspring.



Updated: 07/15/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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. Attributes like its large size, stinging power, and strength allow the female wasp 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 female 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 once been home to a rodent. At the end of this burrow is a deep cell or chamber carved out in advance by the female. While depositing the spider there, she lays a fertilized egg. Once her 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 many victorious battles. Look for this species of Spider Wasp in lots, fields, parks, and other open areas.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Flying insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Pompilidae
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          Genus: Enytpus
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            Species: unifasciatus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Enytpus unifasciatus
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 35mm (0.59" to 1.37")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, orange, yellow
Descriptors: yellow antennae, wasp, orange-tipped wings, blue, shiny, stinging, flying, big, large
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 35mm (1.4in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 25mm
Hi: 35mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Spider Wasp (Entypus) may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Spider Wasp (Entypus). Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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