Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tarantula Hawk Wasp and Dinner

The tarantula hawk is a large wasp (about 2 inches long) that hunts tarantulas. The wasps don't actually eat the spiders, but they feed them to their larvae. Only the females hunt, so I'm supposing this is a mom.

We watched this one spend most of a day hunting down this fairly small tarantula -- well, it was small for a tarantula, but still bigger than the wasp, about three inches or so.  Once she got it and had it under control, she dragged it all the way across our yard, across the driveway, across the sidewalk, and out of view.

She didn't do a lot of flying, but then I guess her victim was a little heavy. The tarantula was still alive during all this, and struggling to get away, but apparently the tarantula hawk's sting is one of the most powerful stings around, so the spider didn't really have a chance. And although they're supposed to be pretty docile, the wasps have been known to sting humans when they think the human is threatening. Needless to say, THIS human stayed well away from the hawk and the spider, and used her telephoto to grab these shots.

(Click on photos to enlarge. Sorry that the lightbox feature doesn't seem to be working on these. Blogger moves in mysterious ways.)

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by 


  1. Uh,, no, no. And I thought the picture of the coyote roaming one of the nearby neighborhoods was disturbing. This is why I don't go outside.

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. This is the first year I've seen these enormous wasps around here - but we've certainly got enough tarantulas to keep them happy. Although, compared to our giant hornets, these guys are not scary at all.

  2. Just keep the telephoto lens handy if you are going to do more nature photography!

  3. I do not want any part of this creature/ I HATE THE SIGHT OF THEM. SO PLEASED YOU STOPPED BY MY PLACE.

  4. Wow I didn't think anything would get the best of a tarantula. I don't like spiders at all but I actually feel a little sorry for the guy. That must be some wasp.

    btw. my lightbox is not working either and something else really goofy must be going on with blogger. my antivirus blocks your first two images when I click on them but I can see the last two ok just not in lightbox. Sure hope they get it fixed


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