Spider captures Potter Wasp (in my lab!)

Earlier today I heard a loud buzzing noise in my lab here at the Turkana Basin Institute in northern Kenya. There are a number of wasps who make their home in the lab. These wasps construct nests from mud, which they then stock with paralyzed caterpillars or spiders as food for their larvae.

Today however, the tables were turned and one of the Potter Wasps that had been coming/going from its’ nest had become entangled in the loose webbing of one of the long-legged spiders that lives under my desk.

Potter wasp gets caught!
Potter wasp gets caught!


The spider had to handle the wasp carefully as she can sting, and the spider did this by using its long legs to spread its sticky silk over the wasps’ body.

Ensnaring the wasp with silk
Ensnaring the wasp with silk


The wasp struggled fiercely, but was slowly overcome after the spider leaned in and delivered a venomous bite:

Once bitten, the wasp struggles less...
Once bitten, the wasp struggles less…


A few minutes later the spider dragged its prize to the sheltered space between my desk and wall where it lives. On looking closer I could see many tiny spiders (including their recently shed skins), who were no doubt thrilled that their mother had brought them such a feast…

Dinner for the spiders!
Dinner for the spiders!

Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to find ‘dudus’ doing interesting things!

More from the world of bugs soon!


My name is Dino J. Martins, I am a Kenyan entomologist and I love insects. The Kiswahili word for insect is dudu and if you didn't know already, insects rule the world! Thanks to the amazing efforts of the 'little things that run the world' I was humbled to be selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. This blog is a virtual dudu safari through the fascinating world of bugs. Enjoy, leave a comment and send any questions or comments to me through: insects.eanhs@gmail.com

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