Bild: Davehood at en.wikipedia

Tarantula hawks do not belong to this world. This is supposed to be general knowledge. Why? If you take a closer look, they are simply gigantic wasps, damn it! A sting from this insect that is widespread in Central and South America is one of the worst and most painful stings you can get – a straightforward 4.0 on the “Schmidt Sting Pain Index” (The scale ranges up to 5.0).

While they are imagined to only feed on fruits and nectars, the larvae are actually nasty little monsters. Mother-tarantula hawks namely stun a tarantula in the same habitat before laying her eggs in it. The now paralysed spider now serves as storage for the soon-to-hatch brood – a mother’s love.

What is truly abnormal is that the tarantulas are actually many times bigger and heavier than the wasps that hunt them. How can the tarantula hawk win this unfair fight? They are indeed both poisonous as we know. But the wasp has a deciding advantage: they can fly! From the ambush and with air advantage, they attack the tarantula whose size and weight is now its undoing.  As they are not fast enough to turn and counterattack, they must now experience how it feels to be a living storage.

This way, the spider population in Latin America is kept low. A good lesson from nature if you ask me. One can see here once again that size is not all that matters, but also the technique and that being able to fly does not hurt!

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