Explanation of Names
Pompilidae Fabricius 1798 (or Leach
(πομπιλος) 'a fish that follows ships', from pompe
(πομπη) 'conduct, escort, procession'(1)
~300 spp. in ca. 40 genera in our area(2)
, ca. 5,000 worldwide(3)
; 115 spp. in FL(4)
Typically dark colored with smoky or yellowish wings; a few are brightly colored.
Slender with long and spiny legs, hind femora
typically extending beyond tip of abdomen
of rear legs have two prominent spines at apex
(distal end, next to tarsi
Wings not folded flat on top of abdomen.
Mesopleuron with a transverse suture
Like the Vespidae, the Pompilidae have the pronotum
extending back to the tegulae
, the pronotum thus appearing triangular when viewed from the side and horseshoe-shaped when viewed from above.
Images illustrating these characters:
Adults are usually found on flowers or on the ground searching for prey.
Larvae feed on spiders. In some groups the females sting and paralyze their prey and then transport it to a specially constructed nest before laying an egg; in others, leave the paralyzed spider in its nest and lay an egg upon it.