The Spider Wasp (Auplopus carbonarius) is an insect in the Pompilidae family of wasps. It is a pompilid.
The Spider Wasp has a metallic black body with iridescent, greyish-black, translucent (clear) wings. It has a large head, a rounded thorax (chest), a thin waist, and a long abdomen. Its legs are black and its antennae are black.
It grows to about 2-3 centimetres (1 inch) long.
The Spider Wasp is found in eastern America, eastern Canada, south-eastern England, central Europe, and Scandinavia.
It prefers woodlands near water, and marshlands that have mud or wet clay. It likes areas with dense vegetation. It also likes gardens and fruit orchards.
The adult wasp sips nectar from plants. It catches spiders to feed to its young larval wasps. It stings and paralyzes the spider and drags its body to the nest, where the larvae feed on it.
It is a solitary animal and does not live with a swarm or hive of wasps.
The female makes a nest of barrel-shaped cells in a hole in a tree, or in the crevice of a rock or building. There are usually about ten cells in a block in the nest, and they are laid sideways. She makes the nest from small pellets of mud that she carries to the site. She usually takes one day to build the nest.
The eggs are stored in the cells. There is one egg in each cell. The eggs hatch into larvae (grubs) and they stay in the cells while they grow. They feed on dead spiders that their mother brings to the nest. The larvae undergo metamorphosis and become adult wasps.
The average life span of a Spider Wasp is about 14 days.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM