Pompilidae

Pronunciation:  [Pom·PILL·i·dee]

Common Name:   Spider Wasps

Description:   The pompilids are solitary, ground-nesting wasps.   Most species are medium to large in size and dark blue or black in color (sometimes with patches of red or orange on the abdomen).   Females have a potent sting.   They capture and paralyze spiders, using them as food for their larvae.   Spider wasps can be recognized by their relatively long legs and by a transverse suture that bisects the mesopleuron (the sclerite immediately above the middle leg).

pompilid01

Spot ID Key Characters:

  1. Posterior corners of pronotum reach the tegulae
  2. Transverse suture bisects mesopleuron
  3. Dark metallic blue or black in color with with smoky or amber-colored wings
  4. Relatively long hind legs
  5. Two large spines at apex of tibia

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Order:  Hymenoptera