Ant vs. wasp with a spider in the middle.


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)

This entry was posted in Accessories, Alberta, Arachnid, Bugs, Camera, Canada, Canon, Equipment, Flash, Formicidae, Habitat, Hymenoptera, Insect, Lenses, macro, MP-E65, Myrmecolphily, Natural Area, photography, Pompilidae, Season, Summer, Video and tagged , , , .


  1. Gary Anweiler 13 July, 2016 at 6:11 PM #

    Wow !!!! Amazing macro’s and amazing videos. Just wow.!!

  2. Charles Bird 13 July, 2016 at 7:58 PM #

    I agree with Gary. Just amazing photography Well done Adrian!

  3. Adrian 14 July, 2016 at 6:43 AM #

    Thanks, Gary and Charlie. I love coming across interactions like this; well worth getting sand in my shorts for!

  4. Darrel Marchick 14 July, 2016 at 8:41 AM #

    This was very cool to watch. I recall seeing a documentary a couple decades ago about how ants will decimate a wasp nest. So i am not all that surprised that the wasp didn’t challenge the ant too much. Rarely get to see a single ant and wasp square off. This pretty well confirms what the documentary supported

    • Adrian 17 July, 2016 at 1:00 PM #

      It’s totally absorbing watching this kind of behaviour, and I’m glad I managed to record it!

  5. Annie Pang 17 July, 2016 at 1:55 AM #

    Simply amazing, Adrian! What an incredible story and the pics and video were fantastic! Loved it!

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