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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Wanted to know about a wasp


I was walking from my car to the front door of my house and noticed a bright colored bug. I kneeled closer and saw a bright red bug with cobalt blue wings and orange legs dragging a big spider. I was trying to do research on this bug and I have not been able to locate what species it is, or where it may have come from. Is there any way you can give me information on this species. I was unable at the time to take a photo, but in the future will be sure to capture a photo if I come across it again.


Hi, Melissa:

You are describing a type of wasp called a "spider wasp," family Pompilidae.  From your description, I am betting it was this species:

You can click on the "images" tab in the above link to get more images.  This species is the only large spider wasp in your area that fits your description.

Spider wasps are solitary, each female excavating her own nest burrow.  They are not aggressive toward people.

Thanks for sharing your story!  Not many people get to witness the kind of behavior you saw.


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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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