spider wasp

(Caliadurgus fasciatellus)

Conservation Status
spider wasp (Caliadurgus fasciatellus)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Caliadurgus fasciatellus is a medium-sized wasp but a small spider wasp. It occurs in western Europe and eastern North America. Adults are slender, black and red, and ¼ to long. Females are larger than males.

The head is wider than long and entirely black. There are two large compound eyes on the side of the head and three small simple eyes in a triangle on the top. The compound eyes strongly converge at the top. The antennae are thread-like and black. On the female they have 12 segments, on the male they have 13 segments. The tips of the mandibles are reddish.

The thorax has three segments. The exoskeletal plate covering upper part of the first segment (pronotum) is relatively short but extends to the bases of the wings. It is more or less triangular when viewed from the side, more or less horseshoe-shaped when viewed from above. The front is perpendicular to the upper surface. The second segment has a line-like groove (suture) across the side (mesopleuron).

The first two segments of the abdomen and the basal portion of the third segment are brownish-red. The remainder is black. On the female, there is a short ovipositor at the tip of the last segment. The ovipositor also functions as a sting.

The legs are long, slender, and mostly black. The second segment (trochanter) of each leg is complete, not divided into two segments. There is a pair of spines at the tip of the fourth segment (tibia) of the middle and rear legs. The spines on the hind leg are of equal length. The third segment (femur) and tibia on the hind leg are brownish-red. The femurs on all legs are covered with short, silvery hairs. The tibia on the hind leg is toothed on the upper side.

The wings are clear. The female has a dark spot near the tip of each forewing.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: ¼ to

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Woodland edges and openings

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Late spring to early Autumn

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are often found on flowers.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female wasp preys on spiders that are immature but usually larger, sometimes five or six times the mass, of the wasp. When she catches a spider she stings it first between the fangs to immobilize these weapons, then in the body to paralyze the prey. She hangs it from a low twig using silk from the spinnerets of the captured prey. She then excavates a burrow in sandy soil, returning repeatedly to the prey to protect it from scavengers and to ensure that it is still paralyzed. The burrow is diagonal, about to 1½ deep, and has a long cell at the bottom. Once that is completed, she drags the spider into the cell, deposits a single egg, and covers the burrow. When the egg hatches, the larva affixes itself to the upper surface of the host spider and feeds from the outside.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Immature orb weaver spiders, including bordered orbweaver (Larinioides patagiatus), humpbacked orbweaver (Eustala anastera), marbled orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus), starbellied orbweaver (Acanthepeira stellata), and at least one species of Neoscona.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30.

 
  12/22/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)  
 

Suborder

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)  
 

Infraorder

Aculeata (ants, bees and stinging wasps)  
 

Superfamily

Pompiloidea (Spider Wasps, Velvet Ants and allies)  
 

Family

Pompilidae (spider wasps)  
 

Subfamily

Pepsinae  
 

Tribe

Pepsini  
 

Genus

Caliadurgus  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Caliadurgus hyalinatus

Calicurgus hyalinatus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

This species has no common name. The common name for the family Pompilidae is spider wasps, and is applied here for convenience.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
 

Looks aggressive !

 
    spider wasp (Caliadurgus fasciatellus)      
 

 

 
 

 

 
           
           
 
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  Alfredo Colon
6/17/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

Looks aggressive !

spider wasp (Caliadurgus fasciatellus)  
           
 
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Created: 12/23/2018

Last Updated:

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