Spider Wasp
Possible Auplopus caerulescens or A. architectus

This is a series of  5 photos of a small Spider Wasp with its prey, a Yellow Sac Spider. In a correspondence with Frank Kurczewski, Retired
Professor and Curator of Insects at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, he stated he had narrowed down this wasp to the
 species shown above. He was very helpful and added that the Yellow Sac Spider might be a new documented  species of prey for these wasps.

spider wasp with prey
I first saw this wasp out of the corner of my eye as I was entering my house. It was crawling down
the brick with something in its clutches.  I ran in the house to get my camera. As you can see,
her prey is about the same size as she is.  © Carol Davis, 9-30-2011

wasp with
I had seen one of these wasps just recently at Red Butte Gardens. They are gorgeous. This
 wasp had torn off seven legs from this spider for easier transport.
© Carol Davis, 9-30-2011

          spider wasp
Female Spider Wasps use spiders to provision their nest for food for the young when they hatch.  This
spider had been stung by this female wasp and was paralyzed.
It will be kept in a live state until the
young wasps hatch.  You can see the stinger at the end the wasp's abdomen.
© Carol Davis, 9-30-2011

wasp carrying a
Suddenly she grabbed the spider and headed around the brick. I thought she was trying to get away
 from me but she might have been protecting her prey from another slightly-larger
spider wasp that
immediately flew in and landed on my left hand while I was attempting to take another photo. 
When I looked again she was guarding her prey in the corner. © Carol Davis, 9-30-2011

spider waps
          protecting prey
I finally gave up after this shot so she could have some peace. I went out a few minutes later and she
 was gone and so was her prey. If I had known at the time she had torn off the spider's legs, I would
have searched for the legs. Next time! (although I can't imagine this every happening again -  I mean,
what are the odds that I'd be out there at the exact time a wasp is attacking a spider and dismantling
© Carol Davis, 9-30-2011

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