Alice Springs Fauna •

Cryptocheilus bicolorPrey (Neosparassus sp)

Belonging to the family Pompilidae, the Orange Spider Wasp (Cryptocheilus bicolor) is a large spider wasp that hunts for spiders. They are known to prey on huntsman spiders (family Sparassidae) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae).

The female are sizeable, up to 35 mm in length. They have a black thorax and eyes, with the black extending down to the abdomen. The abdomen has two broad orange bands. The head, legs and antenna are orange and the species have orange-brown coloured wings.

Orange Spider Wasp (Cryptocheilus bicolor), Alice Springs NT
Orange Spider Wasp (Cryptocheilus bicolor), Alice Springs NT

It was a brief observation, watching this Orange Spider Wasp flying from one yukka plant to another. It was rapid in its movement, walking quickly along the leaves, doing short hops from one leaf to another, obviously searching for spiders, that once were prolific around the yukkas. This may explain the gradual disappearance of the spiders, such as the Golden Orb-weavers and Long-jawed Orb Weavers… food for the Orange Spider Wasp larvae.

See more information and images here:

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthopoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Subclass: Pterygota
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Suborder: Apocrita
  • Infraorder: Aculeata
  • Superfamily: Pompiloidea
  • Family: Pompilidae
  • Subfamily: Pepsinae
  • Tribe: Pepsini
  • Genus: Cryptocheilus
  • Species: Cryptocheilus bicolor

Cryptocheilus bicolorPrey (Neosparassus sp)

Alice Springs WaspsAbispa ephippium Agriomyia maculata Bembicinae Bembix Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Cryptocheilus Cryptocheilus bicolor Delta latreillei Delta philantes Eumeninae Mud Nests and Potter Wasps Orchid Dupe Wasp Paralastor (Potter Wasp) Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Flower Wasps Velvet Ant Family (Tribe Dasymutillini) Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris radula) Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris tasmaniensis)

Alice Springs FaunaAlice Springs Native Bees Alice Springs Beetles Alice Springs Birds Alice Springs Gastropods (Gastropoda) Alice Springs Insects Alice Springs Marsupials Alice Springs Reptiles Alice Springs Spiders

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