- Order: Hymenopterra (Hymenoptera)
- Genres: Pompilus
- Family: Pompidids
- Sub-family: Mygale hunting wasps
The black wasp could be featured in a horror film, but his hunting technique for having hair on his head is very real.
Parasitoid insect,this type of insect inspired fiction/horror movies like Alien, you’ll see why!
Description of the pompile
The black wasp has a particular morphology, it has long legs with thorns at each joint. This helps them to grip and transport the spiders after they have occis.
Physically close to the burrowing wasp, its antennae and legs are however longer and equipped with thorns, its body and very dark, its wings are orange or dark red to scare predators and a stinger almost 1 cm long.
Its abdomen can be marked with a yellow-orange trace, it digs its nest in the sand and only attacks spiders.
It is one of the largest wasp species in the world: up to 8 cm long in tropical countries. ( 3 in Quebec)
Belonging to the wasp family, the pompilids, called more simply pompiles are so ferocious that even the mighty mygale does not stand up to him.
The pompile wasp roams its random flying hunting area in search of a spider. It lands short on the ground and lifts leaves, barks, and inspects holes in the earth in search of its prey.
When he finds a spider,he has bitten it, it paralyzes her, he only has to drag it to the nest.
While common wasps live in colonies and use their stingers to defend themselves, the pompeii are solitary bibittes that use their venom to capture the prey that will feed their baby. So you’ll never have a black wasp nest problem.
Perpetuating the species is its primary role…
Only the female stings
The pompile female the fungus and paralyzes it without killing it, moves it into a hole and then lays its eggs on it. Babies will have fresh flesh to feed when they hatch.
It targets larger female mygales, which are therefore more nourishing than males.
After drawing the spider out of its bearings by moving its web, the wasp grabs it by the paws, turns it like a wrestler and then exposes its abdomen and hits.
The fungus is paralyzed in just a few seconds.
Biologists have studied this terrible wasp in action and have observed that its long legs with thorns at each joint helps them grip and transport spiders after occis and immobilized them.
It is easy for them to drag them to the nest or hole that they serve as a nursery and only one (and only one) has to lay an egg (and only one) on his victim. As it needs a Mygale for each egg, the acribellate labidognathe pay dearly for this mode of “nursing”.
Cruelty to nature?
The fungus is not dead… sometimes the paralysis is only temporary, which is why the pumper cuts off the spider’s paws in order to immobilize it in its nest and be sure that its cub will not run out of anything
The egg hatches in a few days, the larva then digs a small hole in the abdomen of the mygale and satisfies its hunger for hot flesh.
The slow death of the mygale, the pompous baby immersing the bowels of the hairy spider is a reality of nature that evokes with horror the films cited in the introduction of this article.
As an adult, she switched to a diet of pollen and nectar.
Black wasps in Quebec
There are pumps in the city, in the countryside, in open meadows and grassy forests made up of young pines and oaks, as well as well-drained soils, such as sand.
In Quebec, the pump also hunts the Dolomedes tenebrosus, which is the largest spider in the country.
Is it dangerous for the population?
The pumper has the same health risks as other wasps, except that their stings are even more painful than bee stings and can cause allergic reactions.
Black wasps are therefore not a real danger, solitary insect it installs only tiny nests in a tree or under a roof. We’ll just make sure to adopt a controlled attitude if they buzz around the garden table…
Don’t be too worried, but don’t hesitate to ask your exterminator for advice or help in Montreal:
Animal Alert, René Gélinas at 514-830-2819