Monday, June 8, 2009

Tarantula Hawks in my front yard

About a month ago, these Very Large, palm sized, menacing black wasps with brown paper-like wings started visiting the sizable milkweed plant that blooms next to our turret (yes, we have a turret). I tried to get a few closeup pictures of them, but it was NOT easy. These large Pepsis thisbe tend to like to investigate human clothing that is colored, blond heads of hair, blue eyes, reflective sun glasses, etc, as you stand 2 or 3 meters away from the blossoming milkweed with a camera. As they would start to head straight at me, I'd wave my arms before me, and each would veer off, circle, and try again. Keep in mind, these things are not little, and make a hilacious sound of wing flapping.

So my friend Zim did a posting about how some wasps do insidious things to cock roaches. That got me thinking.. what are these massive wasps in my yard? A few Google searches later, I got my answer, both scary and beautiful. Tarantual Hawks are common to Arizona. I did not see them last year. I've not seen any tarantulas this year, but there is no shortage of Tarantula Hawks in my front yard. Walking past them, does not seem to inspire them to investigate, but standing still, with a camera... they wanna check you out. I'm glad I don't have 8 legs.


  1. yikes! remind me to keep moving closer to the poles whenever climate change allows things that big to migrate anywhere near me.

  2. We used to have these big-ass ground hornets in Virginia:

    (Sorry about the deleted comments - it's right now - duh)


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