TACHYPOMPILUS FERRUGINEUS

Tachypompilus ferrugineus

SPIDER WASP FAMILY (Pompilidae)


Description
This wasp is approximately 3/4 inch or 20 mm in length.  It is a colorful, mostly all red wasp.  The eyes, head, thorax and legs are red.  The abdomen is red  with inconspicuous grayish bands.  The black wings have a purple sheen.  The antennae are also black.   

 



Occurrence
These wasps are uncommon in this area.  They are found in open habitats and along forest edges where they may be found nectaring on flowers in mid-summer.


Comments

This is a solitary wasp that preys on large wolf spiders and fisher spiders.  It nests in crevices in rock walls, rock piles or foundations of buildings.  The female paralyzes the spider and drags it to her nest site.  She puts a paralyzed spider in the cavity for a single larval wasp.  There is one generation a year.   Like other Spider Wasps (Pompilidae) the female can inflict a powerful sting. 





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Tachypompilus ferrugineus on Virginia Mountain Mint

Tachypompilus ferrugineus on Virginia Mountain Mint

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