Subject: Another Tarantula Hawk
Location: Van Nuys, CA
May 4, 2015 6:05 pm
I wrote a couple weeks ago and you helped me identify a Tarantula Hawk I had found on my street. I had no photos at the time.
So heres a funny story for you (and a photo): I was visiting friends who live 17 miles away from me and I was telling them about my encounter with the Tarantula Hawk, describing in detail everything from the size to the colors, to how painful supposedly the sting supposedly is. When my friends starting pointing at me and then yelled “it’s right behind you” I of course didn’t believe them. I thought they were paranoid, it was too much like a bad movie. But turned around and yes there it was. We managed to capture and take a photo. We soon found another one, larger wings, seemed more energetic (this one in the photo wasn’t very fast). The white glare on the photo is the glass.
This is the first TH spotting that my friends have encountered at this residence and they had never heard of it before. How common are these? I’ve managed to run across 3 in as many weeks now.
Your account of conjuring up a Tarantula Hawk from the ether through words is very amusing. We have never encountered a Tarantula Hawk in Mount Washington, but we have encountered individuals in the Los Angeles River and at Barnsdell Park in Los Angeles. Most of our sightings have occurred in arid areas outside of the city, and it is our speculation that populations of Tarantula Hawks within urban Los Angeles have dwindled with the loss of critical habitat and the scarcity of a food supply in the form of both Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders.