Currently viewing the category: "Tarantula Hawks"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fifteen years in Sd first time seeing this!
Location: San Diego
June 3, 2015 7:19 pm
Found this rad insect crawling around the ground in my backyard in san diego ca. Any idea?
Signature: Ink only.

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Ink Only,
This is a Tarantula Hawk.  Unless you are extremely fond of intense pain, like what might result from multiple stabbings with an inking needle, you should handle this Tarantula Hawk with caution as they are reported to have one of the most painful insect stings known to man.  Their venom is strong enough to paralyze a Tarantula.
  We will be postdating your submission to go live on our site while we are away from the office in June.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp or Beatle?
Location: Covina California
May 21, 2015 6:35 pm
Found this in the backyard crawling into a hole, never seen one before. It’s quite interesting. It really looks like a beetle mixed with a wasp. 05-21-2015
Signature: Joshua

Tarantula Hawk Carnage

Tarantula Hawk Carnage

Dear Joshua,
We are afraid to ask why this Tarantula Hawk is no longer crawling into a hole.  Tarantula Hawks are Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae.  We will be tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Tarantula Hawk Carnage

Tarantula Hawk Carnage

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.
Signature: Ragga

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Ragga,
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.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug
Location: California
August 3, 2014 12:18 pm
Located this one in Vacaville ca
Signature: Ma

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Ma,
You have encountered a Tarantula Hawk, a member of several possible genera of Spider Wasps that prey upon Tarantulas, not to eat, but to provide food for the larval wasps.  Tarantula Hawks are not aggressive, but they are reported to have a very painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: UK
June 4, 2014 10:24 am
My friend found it on his lampshade. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Signature: Don’t really care.

Tarantula Hawk???

Tarantula Hawk???

Dear Don’t really care,
We thought this resembled a Tarantula Hawk, but we couldn’t figure out why it was sighted in the UK, so we contacted Eric Eaton.  His reply is posted below.  Can you provide any additional details regarding the sighting?  Did your friend recently receive any packages from abroad?

Eric Eaton’s Response
Definitely a pompilid (spider wasp), and it looks like Hemipepsis or Pepsis.  I’d be curious to know the circumstances under which it was found.  It is probably a stowaway in a shipment from the southwest U.S. or Central or South America.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what bug is this
Location: San Diego, California
May 28, 2014 9:19 am
While walking to my car yesterday I came across this huge black bug that had a body like an ant with long legs and mulitcolored wings. It was about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. It moved VERY fast on the ground and then at one point flew away. What is this???
Signature: Freaked Out In San Diego

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Freaked Out In San Diego,
This impressive wasp is commonly called a Tarantula Hawk.  Here are some images from our archives of a Tarantula Hawk hunting with its prey.
  The sting of a Tarantula Hawk is reported to be quite painful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination