Nesting behavior, ecology, and functional morphology of the trapdoor spider-hunting spider wasp Aporus (Plectraporus) hirsutus (Banks) (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae)


  • Frank E. Kurczewski
  • Alice J. Abela
  • Rick C. West


Adult feeding, functional morphology, hunting, digging, prey transport, Aptostichus, trapdoor, spider burrow, host capture, escape activity, geographic distribution, intraspecific variation


Macrophotographs in series taken by Alice Abela on sandy coastal dunes in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, CA in 2010–2021 supplement and enhance F. X. Williams (1928) study of the ecology and nesting behavior of the trapdoor spider-hunting spider wasp Aporus (Plectraporus) hirsutus (Banks) (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae: Aporini). Abela’s macrophotographs and observations provide new details of adult wasp feeding, functional morphology, hunting, digging and prey transport, and host spider trapdoor,
entrance, burrow structure, host capture and escape activity. Newly reported host records from this study and online photographs expand A. hirsutus host selection in the large wafer-lid trapdoor spider genus Aptostichus Simon (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Euctenizidae). The A. hirsutus California geographic distribution map by Wasbauer and Kimsey (1985) is updated, thereby providing a broader definition of intraspecific variation in this species.