Bedroom visitor

Last night, we were visted by (what I think is) a Pompilidae wasp.

We see these wasps fairly regularly dragging huge spiders across our garden – it amazing to watch. At first I though the spiders were dead, but not so – just paralysed.  Here’s the story:

Spider wasps are long-legged, solitary wasps that use a single spider as a host for feeding their larvae. They paralyze the spider with a venomous stinger. Once paralyzed, the spider is dragged to where a nest will be built – some wasps having already made a nest.
A single egg is laid on the abdomen of the spider, and the nest – or burrow – is closed. The size of the host can influence whether the wasp will lay an egg that will develop as a male, or an egg that will develop into a female – larger prey yielding the (larger) females.

When the wasp larva hatches it begins to feed on the still-living spider. After consuming the edible parts of the spider, the larva spins a silk cocoon and pupates – usually emerging as an adult the next summer. Some ceropalines lay the egg on a still-active spider, where it feeds externally on hemolymph.

In time, that spider will die, and the mature wasp larva will then pupate.

Fortunately, I didn’t need any stinging to knock me out last night. Heat and exhaustion did the trick.

10 thoughts on “Bedroom visitor

  1. And once again we see that the female is the greater cause for concern. It seems to be one of life’s few consistent rules.

    I don’t believe there has ever been a case of one of these spiders laying its eggs in a human host. Still, there’s always a first time 😉
    .-= Ro´s last blog ..Two Hearts … =-.

  2. Ro > You say that, but guess what’s just arupted from my thoracic cavity… Wow… heh heh heh… who knew?

    Tara > I missed that one. Also, did he ever do anything about goats?

  3. and here I was worried about the mosquito in my room last night! I feel like a wimp now, although the outcome seems the same. They both got squished!
    .-= Pamela´s last blog ..In real life! =-.

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