Spider Wasps


The Pompilid family of wasps, also known as spider wasps, live alone. They can feed their larvae by hunting spiders or parasitizing other spider wasps. They don’t create colonies or act aggressively to defend their nests. Spider wasps are active in gardens during the summer. The spider wasp that is observed most frequently is Cryptocheilus Bicolor. This giant black wasp has orange wings and legs, as well as large orange bands across its abdomen. It keeps its wings up when it is at rest, but it flaps them when it jumps and goes around on its long legs. The biggest wasp group members are the spider wasps, some of which are longer than 5 cm (2 inches). Most are between 0.4 and 1 inch (1.0 to 2.5 cm) in length. The slim body is often dark, while the wings are frequently smoky or yellowish. Most have lengthy, spiky legs that allow them to sprint quickly. They sting you quite painfully.


Although there are many kinds of spider wasps throughout Australia, the orange spider wasp is the most prevalent (Cryptocheilus Bicolor). The following traits can recognize orange spider wasps:

  • Two orange bands are visible on the abdomen of a black body.
  • Having an orange head, antennae, feet, and wings
  • Orange spider wasps, which can vary in size from 5 to 35 mm, are frequently observed hopping or travelling quickly along the floor and flipping their wings when they land.

Life Cycle

Female wasps working on nest compartments for their larvae are what you most like to see and sound like spider wasps. They rapidly hunt around tree stumps and on the floor for a spider after digging a burrow with the help of strong spines on their rear legs. The wasp strikes and paralyzes the spider, which could be twice as large as itself and as massive as a hunter or funnel web, after which it pulls or flies it home to the burrow. She then seals the egg in a compartment or cells at the end of the tunnel after she has laid an egg just on the spider’s body. The larvae hatch, consume the spider’s body and then pupate inside the cell in a fine, silky cocoon. Some spider wasps attack the spiders and lay eggs on them, but they do not create a tunnel for the egg to be placed in. This spider is left in the area where it was stung, and after the larva hatches, the spider is eaten. A few Spider Wasps take spiders from those other Spider Wasps to use as food for their larva.


Wasps that look like spiders have lengthy, spiky legs and are jittery. They hunt spiders, paralyzing them with stings. Then they cover it with an egg and hide it in a tunnel, mud cell, or even another hiding place. Before becoming an adult, the spider is consumed by the wasp larva.