Hard work for a single egg - Black-banded Spider Wasp (Anoplius viaticus)
The Black-banded Spider Wasp Anoplius viaticus, which is about 12 to 14 millimetres big, is relatively widespread in Central Europe. As from April, it already can be found frequently on immature soils marked by scarce vegetation or none at all. Sporadically, it even nests on warm, sunlit forest soils sparsely covered by vegetation.
The following series of pictures illustrates the hard work Anoplius viaticus has done in order to lay a single egg.
To begin with, Anoplius viaticus hectically runs around the ground looking for its prey, a wolf spider (family: Lycosidae), which it usually finds in the latter's lair, for example under a tuft of grass or a piece of wood.
After a short, fierce battle it overpowers its prey. It stings the spider with its stinger that is at the end of its abdomen and injects it with a liquid leading to the spider's immediate paralysis.
While the spider wasp now shortly and apparently very nervously surveys the immediate vicinity of its prey, the wolf spider that hast just been overpowered lies narcotized on the earth's surface.
Another female spider wasp of the genus Anoplius viaticus takes advantage of the situation in order to steal the unsupervised prey. But the "landlady" has watched out. A short fight ensues, and while the spider wasp pursues the thief .....
..... an ant finds the fresh, defenseless spider. After it has quickly surveyed it and assessed it as good, the ant decides .....
..... to drag this huge treat that it usually could never overcome by itself to its nest.
But again, the spider wasp is on the scene at the proper time and drives away the ant by assuming a threatening posture.
So the picture report continues:
- Genetically fixed transport of the prey to the interim storage
- Orientation of the wasp in the terrain
- Transport of the prey to the nest
- Closing of the nest
- Inside the nest
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