Spider Wasps

Anoplius semicinctus Tachypompilus ferrugineus Entypus fulvicornis

What are they?

Spider Wasps are long-legged, active creatures, most often seen running over the ground with twitching wings and antennae. Females actively seek out spiders, sting them (which paralyzes but does not kill the prey), and place them in burrows, where they become food for the spider's young. They are common and widespread wasps and can readily be found hunting in open, grassy areas, especially on sandy soil.


Many species are plain black in color and can be very difficult to identify to the species level. A number of species can be identified with careful attention to extent and position of red or orange coloration on the abdomen, and by color of legs.

     Anoplius semicinctus

A common species with bright orange-red coloration on the abdomen and smoky-black wings.

Anoplius semicinctus

     Entypus fulvicornis

One of our commoner spider-hunters and a regular visitor to flowers, where the adults feed on nectar. All black (including the wings) with contrasting, bright orange-yellow antennae.

Entypus fulvicornis Entypus fulvicornis

     Tachypompilus ferrugineus

A large, common species with mostly reddish-brown coloration and with violet-blue wings.

Tachypompilus ferrugineus Tachypompilus ferrugineus Tachypompilus ferrugineus