Tiny Zebra Spider Wasp
Female, ventral
Pale Zebra Spider Wasp
S3, Male, dorsal
Pale Zebra Spider Wasp (Turneromyia melancholicus)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)
Family: Zebra Spider Wasp (Wasp: Pompilidae: Pompilinae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Pale Zebra Spider Wasp (Turneromyia melancholicus)
This Photo:     🔍S2, Female, dorsal🔎

Thank you Dr Paul Whitington for identifying and Tony and Jenny Dominelli for helping with the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
1st Live Photo on-line:
~15mm long Male & Female.
Paul said "Here are some of the other characters in Evan's description of the T. melancholica male, in comparison with your photos:
  • Length of forewing: type specimen 10mm, range 6.5-11mm (vs 11.5mm calculated from wing/body length ratio)
  • pale pubescence in standard pattern except for a black spot in centre of clypeus
  • T1-6 and S1-5 with apical bands of moderate width
  • wings, like female, lightly fumose, much darker in a narrow apical band
  • head and thorax with dense?, fairly long, pale hairs
  • clypeus 2.2 times as wide as high (2.05 on your wasp)
These are not all diagnostic of the species but they agree pretty well with your photos, lending weight to an ID of melancholicus."
For the female he said "Key diagnostic characters from Evans (1984) Aust.J.Zool. Suppl. Ser. 101: 1-59
  • length 15mm cf. type specimen 15.5mm
  • fore basitarsus with 4 slender straight pecten spines, apical spine about 1.6x as along as second segment
  • silvery grey pubescence of standard pattern, including broad bands on T1-5 and most of venter pale-pubescent
  • coxae with pale hairs and femora weakly hairy
  • clypeus dark medially
  • antennal index (length of 3rd antennal segment/distance between eyes at top X 100) = 79 on this insect vs. 83 for type specimen
  • vertex v. weakly arched across top of eyes
  • last segment of hind tarsus with a single, weak spine beneath
  • marginal cell removed from wing tip by slightly less than its own length

Similar Species: Half-mourning Zebra Spider Wasp (Turneromyia semiluctuosa)

Copyright © 2018-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 23-Nov-2018
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.