The tarantula hawk wasp searches for female tarantulas in their burrows, the tarantula hawk wasp will capture then sting to paralyze the tarantula. Once the tarantula has been paralyzed by the tarantula hawk wasp, the wasp then drags the spider to her burrow or another nest created close by. The spider is placed inside the nest where a single tarantula hawk wasp egg is laid onto the spider. The entrance to the tarantula hawk wasps nest is then covered to prevent anything getting to it. Once the wasp egg hatches into a larvae, the larvae then chews a small hole into the spider through its abdomen. The larvae then feeds on the spider leaving the vital organs till last in order to keep the spider fresh. After a couple of weeks, the larvae finishes feeding and pupates into an adult ripping its way out of the spiders abdomen. The new tarantula hawk spider digs its way out of the nest to carry on the life cycle.
Tarantula hawk wasps also feed on fermented fruit that can intoxicate them resulting in flying become very difficult.
The tarantula hawk wasps is most active during the day in summer months while avoiding very high temperatures.
Male tarantula hawks do not feed on tarantula spiders. Instead, they feed on flowers of milkweeds, western soapberry trees and mesquite trees. Male tarantula hawk wasps have a particular behaviour called hill topping. Hill topping for the wasps is when he sits on top of a tall plant and watches out for a female tarantula hawk wasp that is read for mating.
Tarantula hawk wasps can be found in:
- Southeast Asia
Tarantula wasps rarely sting people as they are very docile however, if provoked they may sting. Their sting is among the most painful in the insect world while only lasting for around 3 minutes. The sting is said to be immediate and excruciating with the victim unable to do anything other than scream with pain for the 3 minutes.
Did You Know?
Did you know the following facts about wasps - hornets?
- Fact One - Wasps are not bees.
- Fact Two - Wasps can create a nest out of wood or mud where bees make their nests from honey.
- Fact Three - Wasps are most aggressive from August to October.
- Fact Four - They eat insects, food and rubbish.
- Fact Five - Wasps become inactive at night.
- Fact Six - They are normally found in their nest.
- Fact Seven - They are very sensitive to light.
- Fact Eight - They eat caterpillars.
- Fact Nine - Male wasps don't have a stinger.
- Fact Ten - Females have the stinger and it is also their sex organ.
- Fact Eleven - Females protect the nest.
- Fact Twelve - Not all female wasps are fertile.