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