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Species Poecilopompilus algidus

large spider wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus - female Catface Killer - Poecilopompilus algidus - female Spider Wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus Spider Wasp & Golden Silk Orbweaver - Poecilopompilus algidus - female Spider Wasp - Poecilopompilus algidus Wasp with orange on abdomen - Poecilopompilus algidus Wasp with orange on abdomen - Poecilopompilus algidus hymenopterid? - Poecilopompilus algidus
Classification
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 Poecilopompilus
Species algidus (Poecilopompilus algidus)
Numbers
There are three subspecies (P. a. algidus, P. a. marcidus, and P. a. coquilletti).
Size
13-28 mm (females>males, some overlap).
Identification
This wasp is in the subfamily Pompilinae, tribe Pompilini and therefore possesses the following characters:
Pocket in basioposterior corner of the third discal cell.
Spine pits on dorsal side of hind femur.
Spines at apex of hind tibia of unequal length and spacing.
Females of this species have a well-developed tarsal comb.
Relatively short pronotum (shorter than mesonotum) and depressed pronotal collar.

They are separated from other Pompiline genera by the following:
Postnotum broadened between the median line and the spiracles.
Posterior wing with anal vein meeting the median vein beyond the origin of the cubitus.
Lacks scale-like pubescence, possesses strongly converging eyes, and possesses a row of spines on the ventral side of the apical tarsal segments.

They are separated from the similar P. interruptus) by the following characters:
Females with three strong tarsal comb spines (4 moderate comb spines in interruptus).
Eyes much more convergent abouve. Third antennal segment about 1.3X the upper interocular distance (about .65-.75 in interruptus).
Males with the aedoaegus broadly bilobed (narrowly in interruptus).
Claws bifid in females (dentate in interruptus).
Coloration mainly of black and dark ferruginous. Coloration mainly of yellow and ferruginous in interruptus (except P. i. cressoni, but structure is sufficient to separate them from P. algidus).
Range
Widespread. P. a. marcidus and P. a. coquilletti are restricted to the west. The nominal subspecies is widespread.
Habitat
Psammophilous. The females have well-developed tarsal combs and are fossorial and therefore prefer sandy areas (although they may be found in areas of abundant vegetation).
Season
Likely a univoltine mid-summer to late autumn species (pers. obs.)
Food
Adults frequently visit flowers. Females provision nest burrows with Araneid spiders.
Life Cycle
Univoltine (except possibly in the very southern parts of its range).
See Also
Poecilopompilus interruptus.
Print References
Evans, H.E. 1950. A taxonomic study of the nearctic spider wasps belonging to the tribe pompilini, Part I. Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc., 75: 133-270. (descriptions, keys, biology, distribution).

Krombein, K.V. 1979. Pompilidae, pp. 1551. In Krombein, K.V., P.D. Hurd, Jr., D.R. Smith, and B.D. Burks, eds. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Vol. 2 Apocrita (Aculeata). Smithsonian Inst. Press, Washington, D.C. (distribution).