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Species Episyron quinquenotatus

Spider Wasp - Episyron quinquenotatus Spider Wasp & Smaller Evagetes Wasp - Episyron quinquenotatus - female Spider Wasp - Episyron quinquenotatus - female Spider Wasp - Episyron quinquenotatus - female Spider Wasp - Episyron quinquenotatus Episyron? - Episyron quinquenotatus Spider Wasp - Episyron quinquenotatus Spider Wasp - Episyron quinquenotatus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Pompiloidea (Spider Wasps, Velvet Ants and allies)
Family Pompilidae (Spider Wasps)
Subfamily Pompilinae
Tribe Pompilini
Genus Episyron
Species quinquenotatus (Episyron quinquenotatus)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
2 subspecies: E. q. quinquenotatus in eastern North America, and E. q. hurdi in the west
Explanation of Names
QUINQUENOTATUS: from the Latin "quinque" (five) + "notatus" past participle of "notare" (to mark); probably a reference to the white marks on the abdomen - three sets of two, with the middle pair joining in the midline to form a single mark, reducing the total to five
Numbers
locally common to abundant
Size
body length about 10 mm
Identification
body mostly black with white markings: a thin line behind each eye, another line on side of face bordering inner edge of eye, a thin crescent along anterior edge of thorax broken by black in the middle, and three white wedge-shaped markings on side of abdomen (the middle marking is larger than adjacent ones, and may meet in the midline to form a continuous band, narrowed in the middle); a small white spot may be present at tip of abdomen and at base of each wing; wings smoky brown or blackish, darker toward the tips; female front tarsus with a comb of 4 to 6 spines, used for digging the soil
Range
coast to coast in southern Canada plus Yukon and Northwest Territories, south to California, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina
Habitat
sandy areas; especially common along the shores of the Great Lakes
Season
spring through fall
Food
adult females provision their burrows with orb weaver spiders
Life Cycle
females dig and provision burrows throughout the season, laying eggs on prey shortly after placement in burrow; if a larva hatches late in the season, it feeds for a few days and then enters a resting stage (diapause) until the following spring
Remarks
Adults search for orb weaver spiders and paralyze captured prey by stinging the underside of the spider's cephalothorax. The wasp digs a burrow in the soil and drags the paralyzed spider into it, then lays an egg on its abdomen. The egg hatches in two or three days, and the larva feeds on the soft contents of the spider.
Internet References
pinned adult image [by Stephanie Boucher] and other info (Virtual Exhibit on Canada's biodiversity)
distribution in North America; PDF doc and biology (U. of Alberta)
distribution of subspecies E. q. hurdi (Albert Finnamore, Aculeate Wasps [excluding Formicidae], naturewatch.ca)
nesting behavior - 5 pages of detailed notes on behavior, prey species, biology, etc. (Frank Kurczewski, Northeastern Naturalist)
presence in North Carolina; list - 21 pinned specimens of subspecies E. q. quinquenotatus in collection, including local specimens (North Carolina State U.)
pinned adult image of undetermined Episyron species (Insects of Cedar Creek, Minnesota)
presence in Minnesota; list (Insects of Cedar Creek, Minnesota)