Monday, January 31, 2011

Baby food

If you're a tarantula hawk wasp, baby-food for your young is a full grown tarantula.

While walking around the Yanayacu station, I saw a lot of tarantula hawk wasps patrolling for victims. They are beautiful creatures, flashes of metallic blue-green and orange in the sky. One day, crawling across the path was one dragging a full grown tarantula! The tarantula had already been stung, paralyzed and unable to struggle.



I did not stick around to see where the wasp was dragging her prize (she seemed rather nervous with me taking pictures), but there were a lot of tunnels in the mud alongside the path. Hopefully she made it to her tunnel and was able to get it to the bottom where she could lay an egg on the tarantula. You probably know the rest of the story... the young wasp hatches and grows, eating the still living tarantula from the inside out. I was quite pleased to see this interaction in the wild.

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Tuishimi said...

We've got them all over down here (AZ)... even tho' they are common, it is always a surprise to see this giant wasp with bright orange/red wings buzz on by.

We got to watch one battle with a Tarantula last year. Did not have a camera with us. We watched for about 5 or 10 minutes (stalemate) before the kids got antsy and we walked on.

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