Orange spider wasp (Cryptocheilus bicolor)

I spotted this large wasp flying around a bush, constantly entering from different angles. After waiting for several minutes, the wasp finally emerged with a huntsman spider, scurrying across the ground in search of its burrow. The wasp’s speed made it very challenging to get good footage and photos!

Orange spider wasp (Cryptocheilus bicolor) parasitizing Huntsman spider (Sparassidae)

Royal National Park, NSW, Australia




A still of the encounter with this striking pompilid wasp. Notice the wasp grasping one of the huntsman spider’s fangs. High resolution:


Below is a video of a spider wasp constructing a burrow and depositing a paralyzed wolf spider (Lycosidae) inside. I filmed this in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica in July 2017. Skip to 01:25 to see the exciting part.

“After watching the spider wasp for a few minutes, I wondered why it seemed to always come back to the spot where I was standing. I gave her some space and realized she was excavating a burrow with a paralyzed spider right nearby. Vegetation was cleared to get better footage. After pulling the spider into the burrow, the wasp took about 5-10 minutes to fill in and conceal the burial site. Spider wasps lay a single egg on the spider before burial, and once the parasitoid larva hatches it will consume the spider hemolymph as it grows, pupate in a silk cocoon, and emerge from the ground as an adult.”

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