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pompilid with lynx - Ageniella arcuata

pompilid with lynx - Ageniella arcuata
fayetteville, washington County, Arkansas, USA
July 30, 2006
Size: maybe 8-10mm
the pictures are not great as i ran out of light, but i hope they will do. i did not see the wasp take the spider, just the transport followed by it disappearing underground. any idea of genus and species would be wonderful.

Images of this individual: tag all
pompilid with lynx - Ageniella arcuata pompilid with lynx - Ageniella arcuata pompilid with lynx - Ageniella arcuata pompilid with lynx - Ageniella arcuata pompilid with lynx - Ageniella arcuata

Moved from Ageniella.

to genus page

There are a couple things that give away the identity of this species. The spider prey has all of the legs severed and the hind tibia are serrate. One tribe severs all of the legs, Ageniellini, and the only genus found in Arkansas from this subfamily that has serrate hind tibia is Ageniella. There are 36 species in this genus and many of them are widespread. However, the subgenus Ageniella does not have serrate hind tibia and species of the subgenus Ameragenia are found either in extreme southern Florida or southern Texas. That leaves three possibilities in terms of subgenus: Leucophrus, Priophanes, and Nemagenia. This individual could be in any of these three subgenera, but I can narrow it down. Leucophrus: A. semitincta or A. reynoldsi; Priophanes: A. arcuata; and Nemagenia is monotypic: A. longulus. That's the best I can do without a specimen, but if that is an Oxyopid I'm strongly leaning toward A. arcuata since that's the only species in that group that I mentioned that preys on that family (or it's a new prey record). In any case you can still move it to the Ageniella genus page.

There are 12 possible species in that genus in our state with the reductions as stated by Nick. The spider looks like an Oxyopes and not the Green Lynx. That may not be important. Nice series. Great wasp. You can clearly see the leg serrations in your one shot.

i thought lynx was the general common name for all Oxyopids... am i wrong?

You may be right. The Green is just in its own genus Peucetia. This spider looks like a female of Oxyopes salticus.

the ID of the spider is important. Oxyopes is specifically listed for A. arcuata. However, Frank Kurczewski summarized the nesting behaviors of some of the Ageniella (in Nest and prey of Ageniella fulgifrons (Hymenoptera:Pompilidae), The Great Lakes Entomologist, 1987, 20(2):75-80). In this summary he states that A. arcuata usually carries the spider by the anterior end (usually a chelicera). This wasp is clearly dragging the spider by the spinnerets. Neat behavior, but it's unclear on whether it is significant or not. Overall Ageniella is rather poorly known biologically, but they don't seem to be particularly common. In the data I have collected for the Pompilidae of Ohio there are ten species but only 66 specimens. All but two of those are known from under ten specimens, and I have visited several large collections and collected in Ohio for five years. It's hard to study something when it's not around! Different behaviors can help delimit the subgenera, so if the identity of this wasp were known this behavior may be significant. Oh, and Herschel, is A. arcuata one of the Ageniella on the list? The geographic distribution of many of them is unknown as well.

Ageniella in AR
Yes, arcuata has three specimens in the museum for the state. In Leucophrus we have fulgifrons, in Nemagenia longula, agenioides and arcuata. (By the new Pompilid arrangement at the Pompilid project). We have no Amerigenia species.

I guess
I guess I missed the memo on that one! I had no idea that Priophanes is invalid. It is probably from something Marius Wasbauer published, I think he was working on this genus. He probably published in a western journal that most university libraries in Ohio don't bother to you know the details of the change in arrangement? If you don't want to deal with that here you can e-mail me directly.

For posterity:
I am working on a key to Ageniella for the nearctic, since so many have been described since Townes' revision. It appears the information on the pompilid project is an error (I've actually found a couple of errors in that list). Both Nemagenia and Priophanes are valid as subgenera. Priophanes is actually used by Marius Wasbauer and Lynn Kimsey in a 2010 article describing a new species in that subgenus, A. pernia. I can find nowhere in literature synonymizing Priophanes into Nemagenia. In fact, based on morphology, I would say that A. (N). longula is closer to Leucophrus than Priophanes.

although i am not all that great at spider IDs, i am pretty certain that it is an Oxyopid... the wasp was definitely carrying the spider by the spinnerets, walking forward. i will add a picture that shows the spider better...again, not the best picture, but perhaps it will help. anything else needed i will try to provide. i think i may have given you another challenge, and as always i greatly appreciate the help.

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