BLACK Spider Wasp - The hunter from the Pompilidae family

in #steemstem6 years ago (edited)

📚 "Education, with a little bit of horror " 📖

For today's post, I have prepared something special.
Let me introduce you to the Pompilid Wasps or better known as Spider Wasp. Their name tells you, that they hunt spiders. Yes, spiders.
Hm... "But aren't spiders bigger than those spider wasps ?"
Yes sometimes, but Spider wasps are true assassin with a venom, which paralyses his prey / victim and then the horror story begins....

Without further ado, let's get to it.

"The beginning" / one of my favorit macro photos
If you like my work and want to support me, HERE you can purchase a licensed photo.
Cam: Sony a6000
Lens: Sony 90mm macro G OSS 1:1
Set: F3.2 / shutter 1/125 / Iso 100
Light: Flash, little bit of sun light

The story begins on my balcony...
It was just another sunny day as any other. Me and my wife where enjoying our coffee on balcony. Suddenly, we see a black spot moving on the wall. It was quick, really quick and we thought, it was just another house fly. The strange thing was, that it was not flying. Then, things become even more strange. This "house fly" or so we thought, started to explore the spider webs.

Ha...? What kind of crazy "house fly" is exploring spider webs??

It started to tear apart every spider web, that was on the wall. Quickly moving from spider web to spider web. It was so strange, so I had to look closer. Then I saw it. Black, crazy, fast "ant", with wings, that was searching something in the spider webs. I thought it was flying ant (I was wrong), so slowly and carefully I moved into the apartment, to get the camera. I needed to document this.

Creating a long exposure with macro- it’s fun to experiment

As I was preparing my camera for a macro shot, my wife starts to scream... Wtf... I look on the balcony and my wife wasn't there... she was in the living room under the blanket screaming, that the "house fly" and a spider, are fighting on the balcony. Quickly and at the same time carefully, I went on the balcony, to document this. When I come out, I didn't see anything. No spider no "house fly." I carefully sit down and start to observe the wall and my surroundings.A few minutes later, I saw something moving in the flowers, that was on table.


It jumped out on the table. I was shocked. This little black fly, has a big spider in his mouth. 😱
HERE you can purchase a licensed photo.

I was too late to see the battle, but I had the opportunity to see him, transporting the spider into his nest. After a few minutes of photographing with flash, he had enough and flew away with the spider. I was satisfied. Made a ton of photos and some really good ones too (As you can see). After editing and seeing all the photos, I did had to do a little research about this black insect.
I found out, that this is NOT a flying ant or any kind of house-fly, or ant...

But it's a Spider wasps!
HERE you can purchase a licensed photo.

What did happened to the spider? Did she eat him ?

NO, even worse. A true horror.....

...but, before we come to the scary part, let's learn more about this amazing Spider wasps or Pompilid wasps.

This spider wasps - scientific name: Dipogon bifasciatusbelongare all colored black, from wings to eyes. They are solitary and as most insect, this wasps have a lifespan of a year. Females (5–9 mm in length) are a little bigger, than the males (4–7 mm). Antennas on the head have flagellomere (Female have 10 in the male 11). Like other wasps in Pompilidae family, they have a modified thorax for efficient flight. The legs are long and slender, but the forelegs are much stronger, because they use them for digging or to holding the pray.

HERE you can purchase a licensed photo.

These wasps belong to Pompilidae family, witch has over 5,000 species in six subfamilies. They live in Britain to Russia and all the way to Japan and also in some parts of Europe. They live in forest edges, vineyards, scrub and sometime, you can find them in your own garden. Most of them are making nests in a dry wood (Make a hole) and some, will dig a hole in the ground.

HERE you can purchase a licensed photo.

You can recognise and find this wasps, as I did. They will usually be on the ground on walls, searching for a prey and sometimes, we can find them on flowers, eating nectar.


The spider wasps are feeding on nectar and variety of plants, why do they hunt spider ?

Now here is, where the horror starts...

HERE you can purchase a licensed photo.

This wasps have very special venom, which paralysis the victim. This is important for the larva when it hatch. When the female spider wasp catches a spider, it will paralysis him and take him to her nest, where she will lay a single egg, on the abdomen of the spider. 😱

If you get stung by a Spider wasp,

it will causes you mild pain and maybe the area will swell up. It's not deadly to humans! Unless you are allergic to it,(bees, wasps...) then you need to rush to the hospital to get an epinephrine shot.

  • First signs, that you are allergic to a sting
    First, a tingling sensations will come over you and you will start to feel dizzy. Then the itching will start and slowly, your lips and tongue will swell up. After that, it become dangerous. Breathing will become very difficult and after some time, you will collapse and lose consciousness... if you don't do anything, we all know what will happen next.
    So, Epinephrine shot will save your life!

So, when the larva hatches from the egg, it will eat itself into the living spider - only paralysed. The larva will eat him from inside out, but it will save the vital organs for the last meal.
The larva has five stages, before becoming an adult. There are on big differences between the first and the four stage. They only grow in size. When the larva is reaches the end of the stage five, it will emerge from the spider as an adult spider wasp and the spider will decompose.

HERE you can purchase a licensed photo.

More interesting infos

  • In Venezuela and Colombia the spider wasps are called matacaballos, or "horse killers."

  • The spider is killed by larva, when it eat itself into the abdomen.

  • Tarantula hawk belong to the family Pompilidae and has one of the most painful sting in the insect world. Rating of 4 (5 is max) on the Schmidt pain index.

  • The most painful sting (Rating 5 on the Schmidt pain index) belongs to a "Paraponera clavata" better known as Bullet ant.

HERE you can purchase a licensed photo.

It's been fun to write and educate myself about this amazing wasp species, because there are so little infos about this particular species. I found some interesting fact on wikipedia and all the other infos. I was searching all over the internet....
So for the next year, I will be on the look out for this particular spider wasps - Dipogon bifasciatusbelongare, so I can collect more data, about their life and behaviour in nature.

So, I hope you enjoy the article and if you are excited to see and learn more interesting things, don't forget to follow me👍

Till next time...
Yours truly, @marjan


Oh hell yeah that's so cool to see so close up and personal.

Thanks for sharing!

@crocs-and-socks Thank you, Thank you for all the support 🤘

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You werent kidding when you said "Education, with a little bit of horror!" Very very nice post. :)

@maticpecovnik no, I was not. Its just amazing, how the insect world works.
Thank you for the kind words and for all the support!
Enjoy the day!

With posts like this, you deserve all the support you can get. :)

@maticpecovnik Thank you. I appreciate it!

OMFG a spider wasp.... Now, I have seen it all!
Just amazing work.

@marjanko this is the first time I've seen that insect prey on a spider.

you managed to get an amazing picture anf you do have extraordinary Macro skills.

I hope you will always be successful friends.

Thank you @deltasteem for the kind words.
For me this was also the first encounter... Didn't even know, this kind of wasp exist.I was blown away, when I saw the Spider wasp with a spider in mouth.... just amazing. Every day we learn something new.

Perfect ❤️❤️❤️

Thank you, honey ❤️

wow bon appetit spider wasps! amazing pics!

Thank you @adyorka, happy that you like them and for the support. 🍀

This is really awesome post my friend...
Amazing photographs.. Thanks for share with us...

Awwww very beautiful macros and colors is awesome, also love the ant photography. The details is perfectly done too, and the texture is unbelievable. love your style. ❤ God bless your work.

Thanks @ykdesign ✌️ So grateful for all the 🍀 I Will keep making good content... every post will be a little better 👌

One of the best post I've seen in the long time on Steemit!
We need more!

Im so grateful, that you inspired me to learn and write more about my little friends. It helped me a lot in my photography and that you like it, is just a bonus!
Thank you all the help and support.

I think that only people with passion, who are blogging to express themselves are capable of building healthy communities on Steemit.

And you are 100% right, this is a bonus, to be used for a hobby

Yes @alex1320. If you are doing for the right reasons, you can't do it wrong. As I started at Steemit and till now, I have learned, to educate myself more and to improve the things, that Im already doing. The support and the feedback from the community, it's just a sign, that you are on the right track. At the end of the day,
little extra educacion end awareness never hurts!

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