Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Spider-hunting wasp, Anoplius nigerrimus

Every year we get quite large numbers of these black spider-hunting wasps in Emthree. They are the most restless creatures, running across the ground, logs or stones with their antennae in constant motion; exploring holes and crevices, occasionally making short flights.

Spiders are very aware of their presence and I have seen them draw themselves up in a 'ready to run' position if a wasp is about.

On one occasion a wasp and its struggling spider victim fell in my little Onelitre Pond in Emthree, battled away for a bit on the water surface and managed to get back on to dry land still fighting.

It may be that the current scarcity of wolf spiders is due to the activities of the hunting wasps last year. However, they may now find there is a shortage of fresh spider meat which will reduce their population and allow the number of spiders to rise again.

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