A tarantula hawk is a spider wasp (Pompilidae) that preys on tarantulas.Tarantula hawks belong to any of the many species in the genera Pepsis and Hemipepsis.They are one of the largest parasitoid wasps, using their sting to paralyze their prey before dragging it to a brood nest as living food; a single egg is laid on the prey, hatching to a larva which eats the still-living prey.
Tarantula Hawk Wasps: Are Their Stings Dangerous to Humans? Don’t worry—it’s not a spider. However, the tarantula hawk has a reputation of its own that rivals the “creepiness” factor of any arachnid. This critter is ranked as providing one of the most painful stings to humans.
Only the bullet ants of South and Central America are known to have a stronger sting than the tarantula hawk. However, the sting is not dangerous for humans and the pain will fade in a few minutes. The effects of the sting can last for up to a week. Generally, tarantula hawk species are blue-black in color with either rusty or black colored wings.The Tarantula Hawk Wasp is a common desert wasp of the Southwest, but it can be found anywhere the tarantula is found. As its name suggests, this wasp preys on tarantulas, in much the same way a hawk preys on rodents. Although the sting of this wasp is said to be the most painful of any insect found in North America, it is not aggressive and rarely stings.The following is an excerpt from The Sting of the Wild by Justin O. Schmidt. Stung by a tarantula hawk? The advice I give in speaking engagements is to lie down and scream. The pain is so debilitating and excruciating that the victim is at risk of further injury by tripping in a hole or over an object in the path and then falling onto a cactus or into a barbed-wire fence.
Sting. The sting of this wasp is said to be the most painful insect sting in the world, but the pain only lasts for a few minutes. Not many people have been stung by a Tarantula hawk but people who have say that it is so painful that they can not think of doing anything but scream.Read More
A crazy episode from Brave Wilderness shows Coyote Peterson letting a huge Tarantula Hawk wasp sting him in the arm. He writhes around on the floor crippled with pain.Read More
Sting. Tarantula hawk wasps are relatively docile and rarely sting without provocation. However, the sting—particularly that of P. grossa—is among the most painful of all insects, though the intense pain only lasts about five minutes. Local redness appears in most cases after the pain, and lasts for up to a week.Read More
The tarantula hawk is actually a kind of solitary wasp, with a sting that causes a fiercely electric pain that could only be described as totally unacceptable.Read More
Tarantula Hawk Venom Isn't Dangerous to Humans. Strangely enough, aside from the pain, which lasts for five minutes, max, the sting of a tarantula hawk causes no reaction at all. While the venom of some insects actually destroys tissue and causes inflammation, this isn't the case for a tarantula hawk sting.Read More
Tarantulas have few natural enemies, but parasitic pepsis wasps are a formidable exception. Such a wasp will paralyze a tarantula with its sting and lay its eggs on the spider's body.Read More
The sting from a Tarantula Hawk is so painful that the recommended treatment is to lie down and scream. Thankfully, the creature doesn’t come in contact with humans too often, though they are common in the southern United States. They generally only sting when provoked, and the pain, while crippling, subsides rather quickly.Read More
And lest any potential enemies forget why they’re not touching it, the tarantula hawk has both a distinct colour and a characteristic odour, meant to remind aggressors of the pain associated with any previous run-ins. Researchers have described tarantula hawks as being “among the best defended animals on earth” (Schmidt 2004).Read More
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