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Paralyzed Orb Weaver - Episyron biguttatus

Paralyzed Orb Weaver - Episyron biguttatus
Acadia Ntl park, Maine, USA
July 23, 2005
The wasp that had captured the above spider.

Images of this individual: tag all
Paralyzed Orb Weaver - Araneus nordmanni Paralyzed Orb Weaver - Episyron biguttatus Paralyzed Orb Weaver - Episyron biguttatus

Moved from Episyron.

Spider wasp
Indeed, one of the great insect experiences is watching a spider wasp or solitary wasp take prey and construct a site. Likely it is an Araneus species for the spider. The wasp shot is dark but I don't see any white spotting or orange spotting or leg coloration. Did you arrive at Episyron by any specific character? You did not mention a size. The largest in the east may be E. biguttatus but do we know this is not one of the large dark Anoplius species? Nice spider image otherwise.

Thanks for your comments and reply. The size was approx like a small yellowjacket I would say (I did not interfere, so it is a rough estimation). And , as the new picture I have just posted shows, there WAS a white spot on the wasp, hence my IDing it as Episyron sp. - thanks entirely to bugguide, btw!


I decided you must have seen spots on some angle. Nice shot. Although the spotting on these beasts is apparently tricky at best, from the described size and the single midabdominal spot pair, this is likely E. biguttatus. Apparently this is a very common wasp but it still is not observed that often in its spider-paralyzing mode.

And Eric was right, the Anoplius most often focus on Lycosids but there are apparently several in that large genera that take a huge array of spider families for prey.

Episyron is one of the few genera I know of that prey on orb weavers. I thought Anoplius took things like wolf spiders and the like, but perhaps I am mistaken. Lack of white markings on this specimen should cast suspicion on a hasty ID of Episyron in any event.

Hi, Eric
Thanks for your reply. See my answer above and the new picture. I must say the first wasp picture was misleading, as the white spot was almost completely hidden from view. Sorry for that!