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Tarantula Hawk Facts
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hymenoptera
- Suborder: Apocrita
- Superfamily: Vespoidea
- Familyy: Pompilidae
14 Tarantula Hawk Facts for Kids
- Tarantula hawk is a generic name for a group of solitary wasps who are members of the Pompilidae family.
- Tarantula hawks are also known as pompilid wasps, spider-hunting wasps and spider wasps.
- Tarantula hawks belong to one of two genera, Pepsis or Hemipepsis.
- The more common tarantula hawk species have an average length of 2 inches.
- Tarantula hawks are solitary wasps and live alone in a burrow.
- Adult tarantula hawks don’t eat tarantulas. They feed exclusively on the nectar from flowers.
- Female tarantula hawks are the ones who hunts tarantulas.
- Female tarantula hawks are very successful at hunting tarantulas, and rarely lose in a confrontation.
- Adult tarantula hawks attack and paralyze tarantulas. They are then transported to a nest, where an egg is laid on the tarantula and consumed by the larva that hatches.
- Tarantula hawk larva consumes the paralyzed tarantula while it’s still alive. They will avoid major organs to keep the tarantula alive for as long as possible.
- The sting from a tarantula hawk is extremely painful and is second to none except the bullet ant.
- Luckily tarantula hawks are not aggressive and its rare that a human is stung by one.
- Many other species of insects try to mimic the tarantula hawk because of its painful sting.
- The U.S. State of New Mexico made the tarantula hawk their state insect in 1989.