Bites: Spider Wasp Venom:
Orange Spider Wasp
Cold-Blooded: Reptile Temperature Control:
Eastern Bearded Dragon
Spider Wasp Venom:
Zebra Spider Wasp (Pompilinae sp)
Retired Professor of Anatomy, Ian Gibbins, has kindly shared his thoughts with us to help people learn:
I've just looked up what is known about the venoms used by the wasps to paralyse the spiders. It turns out there's not a lot known, mainly because there hasn't been much work done... As is the case for many venoms, there actually is a cocktail of active ingredients. The one most likely to cause the paralysis is specfic for an ion channel in the nerves. It blocks this channel and thereby prevents the nerves from firing their electrical impulses that are required to activate the muscles etc. This action is not very different from that of puffer fish and blue-ring octopus toxins. In us, it causes local anaesthesia and paralysis, if you get enough of it... Wasp stings, especially from spider wasps, are notorious for being extremely painful. This is due to another suite of compounds in the venom whcih probably indirectly activate and then sensitise pain sensitive nerve fibres. I doubt anyone knows what these compounds do in the spider prey. The venoms also contain anti-bacterial compounds, which is a pretty handy thing to have if you plan on keeping your spider for a while...