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Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp
Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, North Carolina, USA
August 26, 2005

Moved from Spider Wasps.

Moved from Pompilini.

Further identification
First off, I would have really liked to get a good look at this girl's butt! There is one orange-marked Arachnospila (subgenus Ammosphex) that is technically a possibility (although where it was photographed might be too low in elevation for it...Cumberland County is likely too close to the coastal plain), Arachnospila michiganensis michiganensis. I can't make a 100% because I think the best character to use for female Anoplius is the stiff bristles on the pygidial area, which is inconveniently blurred in this shot. This wasp also matches features of two subgenera of Anoplius(or one depending on who you talk to), Pompilinus (shudder) and Arachnophroctonus. I think this is far more likely than the genus Arachnospila. It does have very short comb spines and very dark wings for the subgenus Pompilinus. If it is in the subgenus Arachnophroctonus (which I think it is) it's actually Anoplius americanus trifasciatus. If it's in the subgenus Pompilinus it is probably in the "marginatus" complex, but it's not A. splendens because the propodeum is too short. Also, I don't have keys to "cylindricus" because Evans took three names out of that synonymy in 1995, and the females are so similar he could only produce workable keys with the males. So I basically wrote all of this to tell everyone that I have it narrowed down to two species and a species complex (lol).

Thank you
for taking the time to fully explain that. I've moved it up to the family level for now. I'll move it to Anoplius if that's what everyone agrees on.

Looks Sphecid to me and those antennae are at a remarkably low insertion point. Eric may know the genus.

You're both wrong:-)
That happened to me, too, when I offered an ID on a pentatomid....This is a spider wasp, probably in the genus Arachnospila (formerly Pompilus), and a fine shot, too! I appreciate why we have so few images of pompilids in the guide, as they are so difficult to get to sit still! Nice find.

Looks like some Pompilus species changed to Anoplochares as well. Do you have a new paper reference on this genera split Eric??

Okay, kept coming back to this as I added more info to my Pompilid pages. And the only Arachnospila in NC will be scelestus. This is not A. scelestus. It is also not Anoplochares. Only the true large Anoplius species are likely to have these oranges markings. Unfortunately there are several species which might fit in this group. Also there are several Anoplius where the females have very poorly developed comb spines. This one is fairly weak in that area if it is female.

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