I moved a stone plate in the garden in europe, that was stored vertically, leaning against another one. In the space between the two, I found some soil with small cavities filled with spiders.

spiders in cavities

Most of the spiders had a (what I think is a) larva attached to their backside. See the white sausage thing in the right half of the image. I noticed that there's what seems to be spider web on the right edge of the cavity. spider with larva in cavity

Some of the spiders showed movement when lightly blowing air onto them. I took some of them out to get more detailed photos. The larva seems to have a white/translucent head attached to the spider body. The internals of the larva appear to be light brown through the translucent body. The larva has a thin white line at the sides of its body.

spider with larva spider with larva

The least lively of the spiders had a larger larva attached. It has a darker inside and some white dots on its body. It disengaged from its spider and the mouth is visible. spider with bigger larva spider with bigger larva

A while ago, I found other spiders in a comparable situation. Having learned that some wasps apparently catch spiders and paralyze them, to be eaten by their larvae, I did some search and found spider wasps

Is the above the work of a spider wasp? I had a look at bugguide - Family Pompilidae - Spider Wasps, but there are no images of their burrows shown.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That's horrific. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Jul 23, 2023 at 3:25
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Excellent photos. Also look up mud dauber wasp. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2023 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


I agree, I'd say it is the work of a spider wasp. I'm not familiar with those, so I can't determine what species or genus it might be. But it sure does look similar to some of those stages of the larvae. Very nice pictures! I will try to find out what the white dots on the body of the oldest larva (the last and hungry one) are.

  • $\begingroup$ In picture (G) of your link one can see those white dots as well - would be interesting what those are all about - please keep us updated if you find out more. $\endgroup$
    – iLuvLogix
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 11:17

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