Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Anoplius cleora

Anoplius cleora - female Spider wasp - Anoplius cleora - female Spider wasp - Anoplius cleora - female Spider wasp - Anoplius cleora - female Spider wasp - Anoplius cleora - female Anoplius cleora Anoplius cleora Anoplius cleora
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)
Subfamily Pompilinae
Tribe Pompilini
Genus Anoplius (Blue-Black Spider Wasps)
No Taxon (Subgenus Lophopompilus)
Species cleora (Anoplius cleora)
Females may reach lengths exceeding 15 mm, males usually smaller, ~12 mm or less.
Once identified as an Anoplius it can easily be separated by the long, erect hairs covering the head and thorax and the the deeply emarginate clypeus.
Entirely black.
Usually with four tarsal comb-spines and more strongly converging eyes (separation from Anoplius aethiops).
Virtually transcontinental. Rare or absent from regions with heavy soils.
Open sandy areas often with little or no vegetation.
Mostly late summer-early autumn.
Rarely visits flowers.
Life Cycle
Fossorial. Provisions nest with spiders of the family Lycosidae.
"However, aethiops and cleora are sometimes difficult to separate without having specimens for direct comparison, or lacking any data on habitat. A. cleora seems to be fairly selective of its habitat, preferring dune areas or other areas with very loose sand and sparse vegetation. This is probably the reason for its more developed tarsal rake, which can appear to have as few as three and as many as five, depending on the age of the specimen and the subsequent wear it would have received from nestings. A. aethiops usually has three spines of moderate length, sometimes with a short fourth. Again, subject to wear. They are usually subject to more wear because that species tends to nest in heavier soils and is less selective about habitat." Nick Fensler's comments here.
See Also
Anoplius aethiops is the only other entirely black species in the subgenus Lophopompilus.
Print References
See Krombein et al., 1979 [cite:61558] for general notes on distribution and prey records.
See Evans, 1951 (A taxonomic study of the nearctic spider wasps belonging to the tribe pompilini, Part II. Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc., 76: 207-361) for a description, keys, and general information).