Tarantula hawks swarming
I stumbled across your website while trying to research an odd event – swarming tarantula hawks (red and black winged). There are several hundred that appear to be indulging in the mesquite bloom-stalks in two trees in my yard. I’ve never seen more than 1 or 2 at a time and couldn’t find any information about nesting, hive/colony, or swarming. I’m also curious about a very large insect that looks like an oversize hornet. Measuring straight from nose to tail it’s 1 and 3/8″ long. Sorry about the fuzzy picture, I couldn’t focus close enough. thanks!
Tarantula Hawks are solitary wasps and do not swarm. They are nectar feeding wasps and large numbers were attracted to the bounty of blooms in your yard. We have witnessed large numbers of Tarantula Hawks, but not hundreds, attracted to milkweed blooms. Your other wasp is too blurry to identify, but we suspect a Scarab Hunter in the genus Campsomeris.
Daniel: Can you please pass my contact information to Rob, the man in Tucson with all the tarantula hawk wasps? 🙂 I would love to go over and collect a few. He may have several species in his yard. Thank you SO-O-O-O much for this. Eric