Center for Systematic Entomology, Gainesville, Florida


Date of this Version



Kurczewski FE, West RC. 2022. Host selection and nesting behavior of Nearctic trapdoor spider-hunting spider wasps (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae: Pepsinae, Pompilinae). Insecta Mundi 0959: 1–24.


Copyright held by the author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial License,

Published on October 28, 2022 by Center for Systematic Entomology, Inc. P.O. Box 141874 Gainesville, FL 32614-1874 USA


Host records and nesting behavior of the Nearctic trapdoor spider-hunting spider wasps (Hy­menoptera: Pompilidae) Calopompilus Ashmead and Priocnemissus Haupt (Pepsinae: Pepsini) and Aporus Spinola and Psorthaspis Banks (Pompilinae: Aporini) are reviewed, investigated, compared, and discussed. First time incidental trapdoor spider host records for Priocnemis (Priocnemissus) minorata Banks (Pepsi­nae: Pepsini), Anoplius (Lophopompilus) carolina (Banks) (Pompilinae: Pompilini), and Notocyphus dorsalis dorsalis Cresson (Notocyphinae: Notocyphini) are included, although they are not typical trapdoor spider-hunting spider wasp species. The Palearctic Aporus (Aporus) unicolor Spinola, A. (Aporus) bicolor Spinola and A. (Aporus) planiceps (Latreille) are referenced for comparison with Nearctic Aporus sensu stricto. Early 20th century papers on species of Aporus and Psorthaspis are revived. New information on nesting behavior of Ne­arctic trapdoor spider-hunting spider wasps is described and first host trapdoor spider records for Psorthaspis formosa (Smith), P. legata (Cresson) and P. mariae (Cresson) are documented. Potential Pompilidae species in the genera Calopompilus and Aporus are suggested for host trapdoor spider remains found in burrows with spider wasp eggs, larvae and cocoons (pupae) based on geographic distribution, habitat, spider species, trapdoor and burrow structure, wasp cocoon size, and wasp congeneric host records.