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Family Pompilidae - Spider Wasps

5013729 Wasp - Ceropales maculata Spider Wasp - Anoplius aethiops - female Pompilidae -? wasp - Calopompilus validus Spider Wasp Black wasp, white tail tip, leg spikes, white on rear legs - Episyron Pompillidae ? - Anoplius - female Pompilid? - Auplopus
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)
Explanation of Names
Pompilidae Fabricius 1798 (or Leach 1819)
Greek pompilos (πομπιλος) 'a fish that follows ships', from pompe (πομπη) 'conduct, escort, procession'(1)
Numbers
~300 spp. in ca. 40 genera in our area(2), ca. 5,000 worldwide(3); 115 spp. in FL(4)
Size
5-40 mm(2) (typically 15-25 mm)
Identification
Family characteristics(5)(6):
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.
Tibiae 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:
Habitat
Adults are usually found on flowers or on the ground searching for prey.
Food
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.