Every year I come across a few spider-hunting wasps, but I have yet to see a paralyzed spider actually being pulled into the nest. This time it seemed a sure thing: I first spotted the wasp at the nest entrance and then saw it fly over to the nearby arachnid victim to begin pulling it along. Watch the video below to see what happened…
The ant that seems to dominate the wasp in this video is Camponotus novaeboracensis (Fitch, 1855), a carpenter ant. Eventually the wasp gave up and did not return to recapture the spider, and I left the scene with the ant still spinning its wheels in the sand.
Thanks to James C. Trager for the ant ID.
(All photos taken on 13 June 2016 at the Halfmoon Lake Natural Area. All photos taken with a Canon 70D and the MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo Lens and exposed with a single, diffused Canon Speedlite 270EX II. Video taken with Panasonic HC-V750 with Raynox 250 macro attachment)