Deyrup, M., F., J. T. Cronin, & F. Kurczewski. 1988. Allochares azureus: an unusual wasp seeks unusual prey (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae; Arachnida: Filistatidae). Psyche 95: 265-281.


The mating, hunting, provisioning, ovipositional, and developmental behavior of the spider wasp Allochares azureus (Cresson) were studied under laboratory conditions at the Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid, FL during 1987. The species preyed upon the domestic hackled band spider, Filistata hibernalis Hentz, during the warmer months of the year. The wasps flushed spiders from their silken retreats, stung them in the underside of the cephalothorax, causing instant paralysis, transported the spider into its web or another nearby, and entangled the prey in the web, using the forelegs. The wasp laid an egg on the spider’s abdomen after depiling the hairs from the ovipositional area with the end of her abdomen. The larval wasp fed upon the spider while suspended in the web and then constructed a unique cocoon beset with long, erect hairs of uniform length. Morphological adaptations that may assist the wasp in hunting and prey entanglement are discussed.

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