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Tarantula Hawk

Pepsis formosa

Description:

A tarantula hawk is a spider wasp which hunts tarantulas as food for its larvae. "The female tarantula hawk captures, stings, and paralyzes the spider, then either drags her prey back into her own burrow or transports it to a specially prepared nest, where a single egg is laid on the spider’s abdomen, and the entrance is covered. When the wasp larva hatches, it creates a small hole in the spider's abdomen, then enters and feeds voraciously, avoiding vital organs for as long as possible to keep the spider alive. After several weeks, the larva pupates. Finally, the wasp becomes an adult, and emerges from the spider's abdomen to continue the life cycle. "

Habitat:

Oak woodland on milkweed.

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TorreyNeel
Spotted by
TorreyNeel

California, USA

Spotted on Jul 11, 2013
Submitted on Jul 11, 2013

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