Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tarantula hawk

Several species of the wasps known as "tarantula hawks" inhabit the desert lands of the southwest. They of course eat Tarantulas. Tarantula hawk stings are considered to be the most painful of any North American insect. Christopher Starr wrote an article entitled, "A Pain Scale for Bee, Wasp and Ant Stings." On a scale of one to four, Pepsis formosa was one of only two insects to rate a four. One researcher described the tarantula hawk’s sting this way: "To me, the pain is like an electric wand that hits you, inducing an immediate, excruciating pain that simply shuts down one’s ability to do anything, except, perhaps, scream. Mental discipline simply does not work in these situations.


Anonymous said...

I have visited several Native American reservations in Arizona, such as the Hopi, Navajo, San Carlos Apache, Cebecue Apache, and Pima Indians Tribes. I have seen hugh Tranantula especially in the mountainous areas. They were larger than a big man's hand and could jump quite a distance. Which made them quite scary. I have never encountered the hawk! Thank goodness.

Anonymous said...

Growing up in San Diego, Ca in the 70's, I used to see these flying around in the canyons we would play in. They were never aggressive and always seemed to be going somewhere else. We all knew what they were, and to stay the hell away from them.