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tekewin

Tarantula Hawk

This guy was on Combs Peak, San Diego County. I've been seeing a lot of them lately.

atomicoyote

Actually a Tarantula Wasp.  Good photo!.  There should be a lot of them out as this is the time of year tarantulas come out of their hiding places to mate, so the wasps are out in droves looking for them.  They'll subdue the tarantula (paralyze it, not kill it), then bury it underground with a wasp egg.  

If you really want to see a lot of tarantulas and tarantula wasps go to Henry Coe State Park in Central California in October.  Take the 11 mile road up from the 101 freeway (out of the city of Morgan Hill) to park HQs and you're almost guaranteed to see plenty of them crossing the road.  And every year they have a Tarantula Festival; unfortunately it was today (Oct 3).

http://coepark.net/events/TarantulaFest/TFestOrderForm.html
tekewin

A tarantula festival?!! Who knew.

I like this article in Wired about them:
http://www.wired.com/2015/07/absu...ature-of-the-week-tarantula-hawk/

Quote:
“There are some vivid descriptions of people getting stung by these things,” says invertebrate biologist Ben Hutchins of Texas Parks and Wildlife, “and their recommendation—and this was actually in a peer-reviewed journal—was to just lie down and start screaming, because few if any people could maintain verbal and physical coordination after getting stung by one of these things. You’re likely to just run off and hurt yourself. So just lie down and start yelling.”
Uncle Rico

Quote:
“Undeterred after the first sting, he continued, receiving several more stings, until the pain was so great he lost all of them and crawled into a ditch and just bawled his eyes out.”


Laughing
arocknoid

"Suzumebachi ni sasareta"

Thanks for the fine foto, frendo.

You can run, but you can't hide:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running5

(another Gojira jibe for Jim, onegaishimasu Wink

Wild

atomicoyote, you are right about that, I have actually seen a tarantula hawk dragging a tarantula into a hole in the ground on two occasions now in San Diego. I thought it was so cool, I excitedly showed it to a couple walking by and the girl freaked out and ran away screaming. It was quite a sight.

Hey I just realized you insisted on the term Tarantula Wasp. Are they not the same thing?
atomicoyote

Wild wrote:
atomicoyote, you are right about that, I have actually seen a tarantula hawk dragging a tarantula into a hole in the ground on two occasions now in San Diego. I thought it was so cool, I excitedly showed it to a couple walking by and the girl freaked out and ran away screaming. It was quite a sight.

Hey I just realized you insisted on the term Tarantula Wasp. Are they not the same thing?


When I was a biology major in college a "few years ago" both names were common.  Maybe 'Tarantula Hawk' is the one that's become the standard name now due to their size.  They are one of the bigger wasps you'll ever see in North America.  Kinda scary if you suddenly run into one due to their size, but quite harmless unless they feel threatened.
Wild

atomicoyote, Ah ok! I had never heard of the wasp term before, only hawk, so I was curious to know if they were actually different critters. Yeah they are pretty noticeable when you see one close to you with those big orange wings. I heard their sting is not poisonous but it apparently hurts like a mofo!
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