Hawk of the Walk
πŸ“Έ by @libor_vaicenbacher

Tarantula hawk dragging away an unlucky tarantula.

These spider wasps specialize in hunting and repurposing these scary-looking arachnids into living happy meals.

The female wasp paralyzes the spider permanently with a well placed sting between the legs, the spider is then dragged to a previously prepared hole in the ground (burrow) where a single egg is laid on the spiders abdomen, at which time the entrance to the burrow is covered.

When the egg eventually hatches, it creates a small hole in the abdomen of the tarantula, where the larvae enters and begins to feed; carefully avoiding any vital organs for as long as possible – wouldn’t want to kill the spider prematurely…
After a few weeks of this, the larvae pupates and begins its transformation from larvae to adult wasp. Once this metamorphosis is complete, the adult wasp emerges from the spider’s abdomen and digs itself out of the burrow.

The sting from one of these spider wasps is described as “excruciatingly painful” and the only recommended response is to lay down and scream.



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