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Spider wasp - Anoplius virginiensis - female

Spider wasp - Anoplius virginiensis - Female
Pelham, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA
October 9, 2011
Size: ~11 mm
More shots of this wasp here, showing it struggling to free a paralyzed wolf spider that had gotten caught in another spider's web. It abandoned the wolf spider after finally getting it free.

Moved from Blue-Black Spider Wasps.

Frank Kurczewski looked at all the photos I took of this wasp, and agrees that it is A. virginiensis.

Charley, why not please post a few of those images, since there are so few for this species on the BugGuide? OK, I saw them. Yes, please post a few of them here, linked to this one! The wing patterns are somewhat important to subgenera groupings.
Also, I don't know the status of Mr. Kurczewski. Next time I suggest that you ask him for a list of the key characters or something else obvious, for the IDs, especially on these rarely observed and rarely identified species. The information may be very import to other people that browse your images later on. I'm not familiar with this species, so I can't help you directly. I hope that you like the advice anyway. Thanks

Frank is working on a Pompilidae monograph.
In his last email, he noted that A. imbellis was another possibility for this wasp. "Anoplius imbellis averages 8 (5-10) mm in body length and A. virginiensis, 10.5 mm. Anoplius virginiensis best fits all of the key characteristics: front basitarsus weakly spined, front and vertex very narrow, and 3rd antennal segment equal to upper interocular distance. And, now, the size fits." (I had just given him an estimate of about 11 mm for the length of the wasp based on comparing it to something of known size that appeared in some of the photos.)

Moved from Spider Wasps.

reminds me a lot of A. virginiensis (that is not a species ID, just an observation).

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