How have I lived in this country for 4+ years and not ever heard of spider hunting wasps before? Between stories from new friends and researching online I think I will have nightmares for days to come. Ugh, just have to shake away the heebie jeebies now.
Huntsman spiders can be very large and are regular visitors to homes around Australia. Some folks keep them around insisting they are no bother to humans but keep the insects at bay around their property. Then there are others, like myself, who would rather use a fly swatter than share my home with an arachnid, especially a massive one. Removal of the huntsman is another story, as they are large, you cant just squash them – maybe with a brick. It’s like killing a mouse, it’s thick and doesn’t go down without a fight. I’ve unloaded a whole can of poison on one before it finally conceded.
So now enter this blue (sometimes orange) wasp. It hunts the huntsman, paralyses it and drags it back to it’s mud home. Once it gets the spider back to the nest it injects it with an egg. The huntsman then acts as a paralysed incubator for the wasp’s egg until ready to hatch. Once the larva does hatch they then eat the spider from the inside out saving the vital organs for last as it needs the huntsman alive in order to survive. This is nature and so typical of nature within Australia. Haha! There are many stories here of the wasp dropping its paralysed spider on a person and then attacking the person to return its prey. What a total nightmare!
If you are keen to see a spider wasp in action check out this YouTube video of a battle between a wolf spider and a wasp.