If the idea of spiders horrifies you, then I’m sure that large wasps that hunt these spiders down, incapacitate them and then drag them off to their burrow for their young to eat the (still alive) spider alive is doubly so. Or maybe just nature having a bit of justice in mandible and claw for once, depending on your perspective. In this case I was fortunate enough that my neighbors called me over to something in their yard, where I saw this dedicated spider wasp dragging around an incapacitated huntsman spider!
Sadly I was not able to see the initial battle that led to this situation, but the wasp was fascinating to photograph. She would continue to drag the spider up walls, over obstacles and just about everywhere, despite the spider being very nearly the same bulk (if not more) as the wasp itself. She was very dedicated with her persistence in bringing this spider back to her hole – which can be a substantial distance away I should add – but was being continually thwarted by the edge of the house.
Eventually after a bunch of dragging the spider about to and fro, she stopped for a bit of a rest and was happy to show off some mandible cleaning techniques. After that she was back on her way, dragging the spider back up the house and the various stacks of bricks to get to her burrow. Despite the fact she was quite focused on the spider, she did every now and again pause to flash her wings at me and give me a buzz if she thought I was getting too close with the camera. Mostly it was just all bluff and bluster, with no major threat to humanity in this case. None the less while I’m not sure if this wasp will actually sting or not, the mandibles are definitely serious looking and a bite seemed just as unpleasant.
So once I felt I had some great shots of the situation I left her too her work for the rest of the afternoon in peace.