The wasp was a high speed dragger. And it was clear that it was not a Vespid if it was dragging a paralyzed spider. Especially since it was dragging a big orb weaver in the Neoscona genus. But who knew there were Pompilid wasps this ornate? I was working my way down the spider wasp list I have for Arkansas while looking over these shots when Eric Eaton identified it from one of the shots as Poecilopompilus interruptus. And indeed it is one of our fanciest of spider wasps and apparently very variable. This is the P. interruptus interruptus subspecies. The other main form which is much blacker and, I assume, much less Vespid, is P. interruptus cressoni. It occurs in the NE and east coastal. Evans' words concerning the species overall are "it is so exceedingly variable a form in coloration as to almost defy description." Other characters to note are the eyes that curve inward at the top of the head (unusual in Pompilids). The other species of Poecilopompilus from the west, P. algidus has even more pronounced incurving orbits dorsally.

It tried pulling backwards up several stems and flower stalks. Until it finally managed to get the spider lodged up high enough to please it.

Stashed and paralyzed, the spider almost looked alive if not exactly lively. The wasp disappeared for a bit. Buzzed around the area and then came back to the stash.

Then it did some cleaning. For quite awhile.

Then it did some more cleaning while I tried for various camera angles. It was oblivious to me as long as I did not shake the vegetation. I have found that the only time these wasps and the Sphecid wasps are readily photographed are when they are busy with prey items. Once thoroughly clean it did some more local scouting. And then seemed interested in a bank of dirt where my boot had slid while I was doing the photo dance.

To my amazement it quickly opened up its hidden hole right where I had been standing. It disappeared down the hole for short periods and I could just see its rump in the dark. Once or twice it checked on its spider stash. But it seemed to have a long period of digging to go before it was ready for the placement of the spider. I left it there to its further work.