Pompilid Auplopus carbonarius with Spider

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Last seen: 7 years 4 months ago
Joined: 03/08/2015 - 20:09
Pompilid Auplopus carbonarius with Spider

The attached photos are of the spider hunter wasp Auplopus carbonarius, kindly identified from the attached photos by Michael Edwards - the fringe of long hairs around its lower “cheek” area under the head are apparently characteristic (I'm not a wasp specialist). The wasp was about 8 mm in length scurrying with its package across my patio, presumably looking for somewhere to stash the spider and lay an egg either in it or on it. I have not seen this before and followed it, on my hands and knees, for about 10 minutes before I was able to get the shots. The spider seems to be a clubionid and would probably have been several times the weight of the wasp. Despite this, when the wasp needed to negotiate a tricky obstacle, e.g. a garden hose, it could fly with the spider still in its jaws a short way, just a couple of cm height and distance, to cross it. This species is currently designated as Nationally Scarce (Notable-B) but seems to be doing well in this area (Winnersh, nr Wokingham, Berks., SU783708).