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University of Minnesota Extension

Species guide - species detail

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Pompilidae (Spider wasps)



Pompilidae is a family of solitary wasps. There are many species in North America, but we have not identified Bee Atlas specimens to species.


Pompilidae have characteristically long legs; the hind femur extends past the tip of the abdomen when stretched out. They do not fold their wings at rest. The specimens in the Bee Atlas project are frequently medium sized black wasps and have a distinctive dusky band across the forewing.

Nest Structure

Pompilidae found in Bee Atlas blocks are solitary-nesters which typically prey on spiders. Adults feed on nectar and leaves. Frequently, female Pompilidae search for spiders on the ground and in trees, paralyze their catch and lay a single egg on each prey item. Some cache their spiders first; this may be the case with our specimens. We aren’t sure yet if pompilids in Bee Atlas blocks are building nests or just taking advantage of the spiders that frequent our blocks or spiders cached by other wasps (See Trypoxylon). Pompilids in Bee Atlas blocks emerge primarily from holes with either mud/sand plugs or chewed leaf plugs.

Hole Sizes

Pompilids most frequently used holes in the second column and lower third column of Bee Atlas blocks.


no information at this time.

Activity Period

no information at this time.


No information at this time.

Minnesota Record Map

These data are from the Minnesota Bee Atlas project.

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