Tarantula Hawk

Subject: Lg flying bug orange iridescent wings San Diego
Location: San Diego County
September 28, 2016 7:43 pm
Today I was atop a huge 20ft Boulder at the summit of 3600ft in San Diego County.
This flying insect (seemed like a small humming bird) launched several assaults from hundreds of feet away at me, never really close. Displayed quite the acrobatic maneuvers. What is it?
Signature: Buzzed by big ufo

Tarantula Hawk
Tarantula Hawk

Dear Buzzed by big ufo,
Though your image lacks clarity, this Tarantula Hawk in unmistakable.  Tarantula Hawks are large Spider Wasps that generally have black bodies with bright orange wings.  Though they are not aggressive toward humans, they are reported to have an extremely painful sting.  Female Tarantula Hawks hunt Tarantulas, stinging them to paralyze, but not kill them.  The paralyzed Tarantula is then dragged back to an underground burrow where it is buried after the Tarantula Hawk lays an egg.  When the egg hatches, the larval wasp feeds on the still living, but paralyzed Tarantula that acts as a source of fresh (not dried out) food.

I’ve attached additional photos.
Also, this was aggressive to show its displeasure,  although I was 50-100ft from its origin, but it may be due to my wearing a bright orange shirt…
Thanks so much.
This one does have a much larger body than most.

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