COMMON NAME — Spider Wasp (not a Tarantula Hawk)
SCIENTIFIC NAME –Entypus unifasciatus cressoni
FAMILY — Pompilidae
ORDER — Hymenoptera
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Note: I originally made this post with a mis-identification of a Tarantula Hawk (Pepsis grossa).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.