6 legs, black, flying, Wings, shiny
These wasps get their common name from the fact that they use paralyzed spiders as the host for their larvae. In the urban situation, spider wasps are a nuisance pest but they can inflict a very painful sting. Various species are found throughout the United States.
Adults about ¼-1 ¾” (5-45 mm) long. Color usually black or blue, some with orange bands, rarely marked with yellow, wings usually black or bluish, sometimes reddish or yellowish.
Adults can usually be found on flowers or on the ground searching for spider prey. Spider wasps are very recognizable in the field because of their somewhat erratic behavior. They run somewhat haphazardly, darting in and out of cover, and constantly twitch their wings. Each spider wasp hunts a characteristic habitat and captures spiders of similar size; a single spider must provide enough food for each larva.