Spider Wasp

COMMON NAME — Spider Wasp (not a Tarantula Hawk)
SCIENTIFIC NAME –Entypus unifasciatus cressoni
FAMILY — Pompilidae
ORDER — Hymenoptera

Taramtula Hawk hauling a Wolf Spider up the side of the house. 27 Jun 2014. Click to enlarge.

Hauling a Wolf Spider up the side of the house. 27 Jun 2014. Click to enlarge.

I walked out my back door around noon time in late June and caught sight of this. A wasp hauling a paralyzed Wolf Spider up the side of the house.

I watched for a bit to see where exactly the destination was, but I found it to be a very slow process and soon gave up. The wasp occasionally lost its footing, losing a bit of “ground.” It was essentially 1 step back, two steps forward.

A few details about this species:

Range Utah, SW Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and W Texas.

Habitat Open or semi-open or open areas, never found in deep woods.

Diet Adults feed on flower nectar and possibly spider fluids. Larvae feed on one large spider. A common prey spider is Rabidosa rabida (as shown above).

Other — 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.

Note: I originally made this post with a mis-identification of a Tarantula Hawk (Pepsis grossa). As seen in the comments below, an expert in this field has provided me with an accurate identification and I have since revised this post. The details above were gathered from BugGuide.net, linked below.

More photos and information at:


Related Links on this site:

– All Wasp Posts
– Ants Bees Wasps Index

4 thoughts on “Spider Wasp

  1. Brenda, The spider wasp (Pompilidae) is Entypus unifasciatus cressoni. The spider is Rabidosa rabida, the rabid wolf spider (Lycosidae). Where did this observation occur (locality, county) in Texas? Would like to cite your information in our forthcoming monograph on spider wasps and their host spiders. Thank you. Frank E. Kurczewski (fkurczewski@twcny.rr.com).


  2. We had this exact same scenario on the side of our house yesterday. We live in the Dallas Ft Worth area. I’m sorry I even googled what kind of wasp this was, now I’m terrified of being stung by one.


    • I wouldn’t be too concerned. I find that wasps don’t sting if I leave them alone and don’t behave threateningly toward them. I don’t believe I’ve seen one of these since I took this photo. PS, I’ve updated the species based on another commenter above. I’m not sure if the sting of this species is as painful as the Tarantula Hawk.

      Liked by 1 person

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