Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar
Upcoming Events

Discussion of 2018 gathering

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#64457
large spider wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus - female

large spider wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus - Female
Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
July 16, 2006
Size: ~20mm

Images of this individual: tag all
large spider wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus - female large spider wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus - female large spider wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus - female large spider wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus - female large spider wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus - female

Very fine
Pompilid. And I was totally at a loss as to what genus it might be in with that coloration. This is certainly not an Anoplius. However the northern specimens in Poecilopompilus are extremely variable and often much darker than our southern creatures. The eyes that are convergent on top are suggestive of that genus, as well as this impressive coloration. I cannot make out wing venation here. If it is Poecilopompilus it may even be the other species P. algidus but Evans said that P. interruptus was so variable in coloration as to almost defy description.

 
Poecilopompilus algidus
This is indeed P. algidus and I have just created a guide page so you have somewhere to put the image. Coloration is a supporting character, and a fairly good one for this particular individual. P. interruptus may be dark but are rarely this dark (notice I said rarely and not NEVER). However it was the good photos of the structure that allowed me to come to an ID. All Poecilopompilus have strongly convergent eyes above, but in this one they are REALLY convergent. The third antennal segment appears that it is a little more than the upper interocular distance (it's usally less than one in interruptus, the convergence is usually about half as strong in interruptus). Good shots of the tarsal comb revealed that this specimen has three very strong comb-spines, not four moderately strong comb-spines as in interruptus. Another good character (the nature of the front tarsal claws (bifid vs. dentate)) is usually not visible without a scope. By the way, this is the nominal subspecies, P. a. algidus.

 
Great!!!
That's a really good explanation of how to tell the difference between the species. Nick, thanks for the ID and setting up the guide page with all the info filled out.

 
another picture added
that shows the wings a little better. I hope that's good enough for an ID.

(Maginificent) Spider Wasp (Pompilidae) - female
Pronotum does reach the tegulae (here the left one is clearly visible). Paradoxically, while the genders are easy to tell apart, an ID even to subfamily level is more difficult without wing venation and/ or underside of gaster.
But this superb tricolorous color pattern will maybe help somebody familiar with North-American fauna.

 
Spider Wasp
This was just about the same size as Sphex pennsylvanica. I didn't know we had spider wasps that big in the northeast. I'd like to see what kind of spider it goes after.
Richard, thanks for the help.

 
Spider prey
This girl would go after a really big Araneid.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.