Anoplius viaticus (Spider hunting wasp) with prey (Kings forest)

Anoplius viaticus is one of the largest (14mm) and most spectacular spider-hunting wasps, with striking red and black bands on the abdomen. They are found entirely in sandy habitats and overwinter as adults, resulting in their being active from March onwards. This is much earlier than the vast majority of Pompilidae – the only others around in early spring are similarly overwintering species Priocnemis coriacea, Priocnemis perturbator and Priocnemis susterai. The hibernation occurs in deep burrows.

Prey is varied but consists principally of Lycosidae. The pictured female caught aAnoplius infuscatus female filling in her burrow Trochosa terricola in heather at Thursley National Nature Reserve, hid the spider among the heather while she took 20 minutes excavating a shortish burrow, then returned to transport the prey back. Checking the diameter of the burrow entrance invariably occurs before interment.

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3 thoughts on “Anoplius viaticus (Spider hunting wasp) with prey (Kings forest)

    • Thanks Sally , you just get to know what habitat to look for and find that sit and watch even for a few minutes then you tend to see what your after .. its the third type of spider hunting wasp ive caught with prey

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