09.24.2020 Spider Wasp

As the name implies, these capture spiders and leave them for their larvae to feed upon. The adults as you can see from these images feed upon flower nectar, in this case Boneset once again.

Blue-black Spider WaspAnoplius sp. on Boneset -Eupatorium perfoliatum

One identifier for this genus is the Snidely Whiplash-like antennae curl after death but this one was very alive but possibly dying as it fed. Then again, maybe just a bit of bitter nectar.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insects, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to 09.24.2020 Spider Wasp

  1. krikitarts says:

    I remember Snidely, almost as unforgettable character as Dudley Do-right.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Look at the efficiently hexagonal packing of those boneset buds.

    When I was a little kid and would watch Ernie Kovacs on television, one of his characters was Auntie Gruesome. I was too young to know that gruesome wasn’t a name but a word, much less what it meant. Along those lines, I wonder how many kids who saw Snidely Whiplash knew that snidely was a real word.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. melissabluefineart says:

    Aw~Yes I prefer to think it just hit a sour patch.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great shots, and I like the idea of the antennae curling when the wasp hits a sour patch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    Interesting about the antennae… do you think that little ant is eyeing it as a possible carcass? Nothing is wasted in nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres says:

    One of my readers posted a gallery of portraits of men with mustaches grown and maintained with pride. Some of them looked like your wasp’s antennae, and we exchanged a few words about Snidely Whiplash.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Todd Henson says:

    Nice. This brings back memories of tarantula hawk wasps out in Arizona, and of course the tarantulas, as well. Amazing species, though I’d hate to be a spider when the wasp is in town.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great images Steve! The Snidely Whiplash reference brings back memories from long ago!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I read about it back then and am a member of a Facebook wildflower group that shared the article as well. Thanks for mentioning it. I hope they didn’t give too specific hints describing the habitat that will allow others to find it and damage follow. Every once in a while I notice that someone has cut or dug the yellow lady’s slippers that I visit in the sanctuary near here where they grow.

      Like

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  10. Your boneset seems to be a wonderful stage for your wonderfully photographed insects. . . . Ah, Ernie Kovacs. I miss him.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. bluebrightly says:

    I’m cheering for the boneset – it’s the backdrop for so many great shows at your place, right? Good for you for getting those antennae, so cool. One can look at both photos and see how they curl – it’s kind of a kinky curl, eh? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • bluebrightly says:

      Ha ha – now I see Linda talking about the boneset, too. She and I are on the same wavelength.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I should create a page of just boneset visitors as I bet I have nearly a hundred different species…well a lot anyway. I am glad that this was a living wasp with those curls and not a dead one. Boneset makes a good background for the insects but I have yet to make a shot of the plant/flower itself that I am thrilled with.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        Wow, yes, that would really be interesting to see – it would be a celebration. It does make a nice backdrop. I always enjoy the way every tiny bit of those individual flowers is in focus and carefully rendered. I can imagine a nice photo of a group of them, maybe from a distance, maybe lass sharp. They have a sort of fuzzy quality that you could play up. That’s the opposite of what happens in the insect photos but it would be a nice complement. Is it too late yet? Maybe not, I remember they do last. (It’s another familiar wildflower from my past that doesn’t grow out here).
        I just google-image-searched Boneset and didn’t see anything like what I’m imagining but I did see photos of the leaves, which I’d forgotten about. I was always excited by that piercing of the stem. The architectural quality of it. Make sense? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • That will have to be something to pursue next year. They are fairly spent and brown now although the leaves could still be a project. The way the leaves surround the stem…thus the thoroughwort moniker, is one of the identifying field signs. One picture that comes to mind might be a selective focus shot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        If you’re inspired by those interesting leaves, that would be nice, but I’m sure there are many other subjects calling out to you these days. 🙂 I didn’t realize the connection to that name and I just read about it – “through” was not previously distinguished from “thorough” so the stem goes “thorough” the leaf. I would have thought it was Thoroughwort because the plant was used for so many medicinal purposes. I bet Steve S. wouldn’t make that mistake! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • You bet there are many other things to catch my eye but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t include some leafy abstracts. We’ll see. I am about to start 10 days of me time so the mornings will be filled with photography and the afternoons preparing for winter’s cold by finishing the wood splitting and loading the garage.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        Ah, it’s great to hear you have all that time off! Enjoy! Well, the mornings anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. I enjoy the yardwork too although I get tired a little more quickly now. I got a few things accomplished yesterday and more on tap today.

        Liked by 1 person

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