Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

From South Africa to North America, and from Sydney to the UK, the spider wasp is a species of parasitoid wasp that hunts spiders. Spider wasps are a fascinating group of insects that have an amazing ability to hunt and capture spiders for food. They are solitary predators, meaning they hunt alone, and use their venomous stings to subdue their prey. Spider wasps are found in the tropical regions of the world and they play an important role in controlling spider populations. They have been studied by scientists for decades as they provide insight into the complex relationship between predator and prey.


  • Large wasps with long, spiky legs are known as spider wasps. 
  • The majority of species have dark, black, lustrous blue-black, or brownish bodies. 
  • Some species feature orange or rust patterns, black bodies with yellow bands, or both. 
  • Frequently, the wings are dark like the body or smoky-clear, amber, or both.
  • These wasps are solitary, non-aggressive insects with a size range of 5-35 mm.

Life Cycle

  • Spider Wasps are a fascinating species of wasp, known for their unique egg-laying process.
  • They lay their eggs in the bodies of spiders, using their powerful sting to paralyze them. 
  • This method of egg-laying ensures that the larvae have a ready source of food when they hatch. 
  • It also allows the wasps to protect their eggs from predators and other dangers.  

Habit or Behaviour

While the larva survives on spiders brought back by the mother, generally still alive, until it reaches adulthood, the adult actually feeds on nectar. Spider wasps are active nectar feeders throughout the summer. Large hairy spiders’ legs have been known to be nibbled off by some species, cutting them to make them simpler to handle. Huntsman spiders are frequently seen being pulled by spider wasps as they dig in soft sandy soil. Female wasps build nest chambers by carrying spiders to an underground burrow, a tree trunk, or a mud nest.

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