Species Entypus unifasciatus
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)
Tribe Pepsini (Tarantula-hawk Wasps and Allies)
Species unifasciatus (Entypus unifasciatus)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
In Townes' revision (1957) all the members of this group were placed under the genus Priocnemioides Radoszkowski.
Three recognized nearctic subspecies: E. u. unifasciatus, E. u. cressoni, and E. u. californicus.
Males: 15-25 mm, Females: 25-35 mm. Some tropical specimens are comparable in size to some Pepsis.
Body blue-black, smoky brown wings with orange tips, prominent orange antennae.
This very common species is essentially transcontinental, except in the northwest.
E. u. unifasciatus: Atlantic Coast to c. and n. Great Plains, e. Texas. Includes southern Canada.
E. u. cressoni: UT, sw. CO, AZ, NM, w. TX (i.e. mainly arid).
E. u. californicus: California only.
Always in semi-open or open situations ("waste areas", meadows, pastures, open woods and edges, desert, semi-arid grassland, etc.). Never found in deep woods.
This species is a typical late summer-early Autumn species in the east (nominal subspecies). July-September (North Carolina). In Ohio (and probably most of the northeast) some adults appear in late June, but most in early July. Most females are seen provisioning from mid-July to September. Out of all individuals seen from Ohio the peak in numbers of captures was from the last half of August.
Adults frequently visit flowers. They are known to feed from the flowers of the following genera of plants: Asclepias
, and Tamarix
. One provisioning female was observed malaxating near a joint in the leg of her prey spider, so it is possible that they may also take fluids from their spider prey.
There is one generation per year. Males emerge first. By late August/early September most females are worn. By mid- to late September most female are very worn, with most of the apical area of the wing being tattered away. Life cycle probably more drawn out in far south, but there is very little difference. Most individuals do not persist into October. E. u. cressoni
may be found during a longer period (May-October) but there is still only one generation per year. E. u. californicus
has a similar life cycle to the nominal subspecies. Parasitoid of spiders, including wolf spiders (Lycosidae). Prey records only exist for E. unifasciatus unifasciatus
. They are known to prey on Pardosa riparia
and Rabidosa rabida
A. Typical prey of E. unifasciatus unifasciatus.
B. A "young" (that is, not worn) female with prey. This always transport their prey in this fashion; they often cache their prey in plants, dragging them vertically up the stem.
Females dig a burrow that ends in a terminal chamber off of the side of a mammal burrow or large crack in the ground. The serrations on the hind tibiae are used to aid the movement of soil out of the burrow entrance. The position in which the egg is laid is unknown. Larvae feed on one large spider and, as in all Pompilids that have one generation per year, overwinter as pupae.
Perhaps mimicked by an Ichneumon, Gnamptopelta obsidianator
, and similar species in that family
Brimley, p. 432, lists (as Cryptocheilus unifasciatus
) from North Carolina, July-September (1)
On a checklist for Austin, Texas
Listed as a visitor to Swamp Milkweed
|1.||Insects of North Carolina|
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.