Stung by a wasp update

I thought that the wasp in the first Stung by a wasp installment, had already been killed but the truth is far, far worse. It’s like something out of a horror movie!

According to Wikipedia:

Spider wasps are long-legged, solitary wasps that use a single spider as a host for feeding their larvae. They paralyze the spider with a venomous stinger. Once paralyzed, the spider is dragged to where a nest will be built – some wasps having already made a nest. A single egg is laid on the abdomen of the spider, and the nest – or burrow – is closed . . .

. . .  When the wasp larva hatches it begins to feed on the still-living spider. After consuming the edible parts of the spider, the larva spins a silk cocoon and pupates – usually emerging as an adult the next summer. Some ceropalines lay the egg on a still-active spider, where it feeds externally on hemolymph. In time, that spider will die, and the mature wasp larva will then pupate. Read more . . .

Now I’m beginning to feel sorry for the spiders.


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Categories: Nature/Environment


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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21 Comments on “Stung by a wasp update”

  1. February 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm #


    Maybe this is where Sci-fi ideas come from?

    • February 17, 2011 at 6:27 am #

      Yes, it also reminds me of sci-fi – don’t they often use gigantic insects as their monsters?

      • February 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

        Sounds about right. I watched a movie last weekend where some very sophisticated giant bugs injected humans (aka living hosts) with their larvae. If we had giant bugs walking around pretending to be human I’d be very worried 😉

  2. February 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    This is terrible! I’m feeling sorry for these poor spiders too….and suddenly not liking wasps very much (not that I did before, but I didn’t have the same phobia).

    • February 17, 2011 at 6:30 am #

      At least they don’t do the same thing to humans! 🙂 I’ve only ever been stung by a wasp once – and that was because I put my hand onto it.

  3. February 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Good God, Lisa! I clearly need to work my way back to the first post. This is horrifyiing!

  4. February 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Urgh… I feel quite ill. The poor, poor rain spider….

    • February 17, 2011 at 6:31 am #

      Now everybody’s feeling sorry for the spider! It’s all relative, isn’t it?

  5. February 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    You truly have the eyes of the scientist. One of my son’s friends- a budding scientist- used to come over to our house. Our yard was “creeping with snakes” he said. “Nope- never seen one” I said. He promptly went out and caught two. Then told me where two more lived- that he routinely saw. I watched that spot for years- never saw either. He caught those two snakes every time he came over- trying to show me. Then would let them loose- back to their home- in my back yard. Eyes of a scientist.

    • February 17, 2011 at 6:38 am #

      Some people are just better at spotting things than others. Willie does have very sharp eyes, me less so. I take note of interesting things out in nature, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be as good at spotting snakes as your son’s friend is. I think you have to know where to look for things too. E.g. my spider books tell you were the best places are to find spiders.

      Were those snakes in your yard poisonous?

      • February 17, 2011 at 8:43 am #

        No – but interestingly they let off a HORRID smell once caught! Ugh- the thought of that smell makes me gag just to recall it. Also drove the dogs nuts – it would also linger a while. Didn’t bother the boys one bit…

  6. Oregon Sunshine
    February 17, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    Holy cow! I wouldn’t want to tangle with that wasp! Are they ever aggressive towards people? I didn’t see anything that said one way or the other on the Wikipedia page.

    We have a couple red type wasps here. One type flies and loves to rest in my vincas during the summer. So far, they haven’t been people aggressive. Yet, I hear in other parts of my country they are.

    The other is actually a wasp although it’s called a Red Velvet Ant. They’re wingless wasps with very painful stings that require emergency room treatment. I haven’t seen one so far, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled.

    • February 17, 2011 at 6:41 am #

      I think like bees, wasps are aggressive if you disturb them or mess with their nests. I’ve been stung once by a wasp – there were wasps in our postbox and I put my hand in there without looking. It was quite painful, but I didn’t need to see a doctor.

  7. Sarita Botha
    February 17, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    Terrible! I’m not reading any more wasps/spider stories this week. Need time to recover. I really don’t like spiders…..

    • February 17, 2011 at 9:00 am #

      You can relax – I’m done with spiders for at least a week! 🙂

      • Sarita Botha
        February 17, 2011 at 11:51 am #

        Thank goodness!!!!

      • February 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

        I echo that!

  8. February 18, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    Ok wasps AND spiders are now on my list of things I don’t want to know anything more about. :p You and Steven King should hook up and write a book about critters.

    • Willie
      February 18, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      I agree it is tough subject matter. Through our sophistication and technology we have created a buffer between us and basic life struggles, which is essentially about survival and reproduction. I think this post, in an unusual way, illustrates both those aspects beautifully.

    • February 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

      Nature is one of my main topics, so I’m bound to write about critters from time-to-time. Just avoid those posts. I do hope you’ll keep reading my other stuff though. 🙂

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