Spiderhunting wasps

Most spider-hunting wasps are dark blue or black with wings in shades of dark yellow, blue, or black. The body is slender, and the hindlegs arc long and spiny. Males arc smaller and more slender than the females. Some species can be very large.

• LlFF CYCLF Females fly or run along the ground in search of spiders. The wasps have to wrestle with their prey, but their strong venom can cripple even very large specimens. The female drags the paralyzed spider to a prepared mud nest in a crevice or under the ground, although some will attack a spider in its own burrow. Before sealing the nest, the female lays a single egg, usually on the spider's abdomen. Some lay their eggs on a spider caught by another wasp before it is sealed in; others open already sealed nests. •()<:< :i JRRENi 3E Worldwide, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. In varied habitats, where spiders arc found.

• REMARK The stings \ antennae often of these wasps are often \ curl after death extremely painful.

dark Jem ut yellow patches at sides of abdomen

A Pom/*/u s spi :< :n<;s males (seen here) have 12 antennal segments, while females have 13. There are six visible segments on the male abdomen; seven on that of the female.

strong thorax amber-colored wings dark, smoky border of wing

Peps is iieros, the Tarantula I lawk, is the largest species of spider-hunting wasp. The females fly above the ground, scanning the terrain below for suitable spider prey.

» long hindlegs

matte-black head matte-black thorax

strong spur on tibia an tenor part of abdomen shiny and smooth smoky wings with strong purplish tinges

• stout femur matte-black head matte-black thorax

A PRIOCNEMIS SPKCIKS arc found mostly in the Northern I lemisphcre. This specimen has the slender abdomen and long, spiny legs typical of spider-hunting wasps.

strong spur on tibia

I ,AKVAK are pale and grublike. I lie body is widest in the middle.

an tenor part of abdomen shiny and smooth

0rder HYMKNOPTKRA

Family SCOLIIDAK

No. of species 350

black-and-yellow body coloration

males have three short spines at end of abdomen stout legs for digging soil

fine wrinkles at •nd of wings hairy legs

SCOUA RROCI R comes from Java, Borneo, and Sumatra. Members of this genus arc not especially aggressive but may sting painfully if handled carelessly.

forewings larger than hindwings

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