Auplopus Spider Wasps

Auplopus spp.

Spider_Wasp_Auplopus_mellipes_MD_8-5-19.jpg

Female spider wasp grasping and dragging body of sac spider
There about 10 North American spider wasp species in genus Auplopus. Members of this genus prey on sac, ground, crab, nursery web, or jumping spiders. They often snip off the legs of captured spiders, which makes them easier to move around. They typically craft mud cells for their young to develop in.
Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org
Family

Pompilidae (spider wasps) in order Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps)

Description

North America's 10 species of spider wasps in genus Auplopus are black wasps, usually with a bluish or turquoise sheen. Most species have reddish or honey-colored legs. There are at least three Auplopus species with all-black legs; these are very hard to tell apart.

Auplopus spider wasps typically snip off the legs of the spiders they capture, which makes them easier for these rather small wasps to lug around. They usually prey on sac, ground, crab, nursery web, or jumping spiders. They craft mud cells for their young to develop in.

Learn more about these and other spider wasps on their group page.

Size

Length: to about ½ inch.

Habitat and conservation

Most common in wooded areas. Females sometimes build their mud cells in the exterior cracks of foundations of homes. Adults take nectar from flowers.