Auplopus Spider Wasps

Female spider wasp grasping and dragging body of sac spider
Scientific Name
Auplopus spp.
Pompilidae (spider wasps) in order Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps)

North America's 10 species of spider wasps in genus Auplopus are black wasps, usually with a bluish or turquoise sheen. Most species have reddish or honey-colored legs. There are at least three Auplopus species with all-black legs; these are very hard to tell apart.

Auplopus spider wasps typically snip off the legs of the spiders they capture, which makes them easier for these rather small wasps to lug around. They usually prey on sac, ground, crab, nursery web, or jumping spiders. They craft mud cells for their young to develop in.

Learn more about these and other spider wasps on their group page.

Length: to about ½ inch.
Most common in wooded areas. Females sometimes build their mud cells in the exterior cracks of foundations of homes. Adults take nectar from flowers.
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About Land Invertebrates in Missouri
Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.