“The exciting video footage by Jeremiah Loei depicts a large spider wasp (family Pompilidae) taking down an equally large huntsman spider (Heteropoda sp., family Sparassidae). After the spider prey has been stung and immobilised, the wasp then drags it away to a more secluded spot for subsequent processing. This may include amputation of all the spider’s legs, so it becomes less cumbersome and also lighter to carry.
“In Sarawak (February 2011), I have watched a big black spider wasp carrying a legless spider prey by its spinnerets (above).
“In Singapore (October 2010), I have also encountered a smaller spider wasp in possession of a huntsman spider that clearly had all eight limbs snipped away (below).
“Within the spider wasp Tribe Auplopodini, most members practice amputation of spider legs just beyond the coxae (Evans, 1953). For the vast majority of spider wasps, the following behavioural sequence is often executed: Hunting Paralysis Transportation Excavation of cell Oviposition Closing (Evans, 1953). So after the paralysed spider has been safely concealed within a cell, the wasp will lay her egg onto the spider, which is destined to become food for its larva upon hatching.
“Worldwide, there are at least 4000 species of spider wasps, which exhibit an intriguing diversity of behavioural traits (Shimizu et al., 2010). In Singapore and much of Southeast Asia, spider wasps have yet to be studied comprehensively.:
Dr Leong Tzi Ming (text, images) & Jeremiah Loei (video clip)
28th May 2014
Note: Video by Jeremiah Loei; images bu Dr Leong Tzi Ming.
1. Evans, H. E., 1953. Comparative ethology and the systematics of spider wasps. Systematic Zoology, 2(4): 155–172.
2. Shimizu, A., M. Wasbauer & Y. Takami, 2010. Phylogeny and the evolution of nesting behaviour in the tribe Ageniellini (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Pompilidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 160: 88–117.