I came across something that caught my eye today while out walking the dogs. A 2″ or 5 cm black wasp with bright orange/red wings. I got three pictures of it before it flew away. I came home to look up what it was and that’s when I found out it is a Pepsis Wasp also referred to as the Tarantula Hawk Wasp. It was gorgeous.
Have you heard of the Schmidt Sting Pain index?
Justin Schmidt is an entomologist, and decided to make a pain index rating 1-4. Here is the chart.
<a href="http://www.compoundchem.com/2014/08/28/insectvenoms/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Source</a>
This wasp rates number 4 along with the Bullet Ant. The sting only lasts 3 minutes, but it’s so electric that it could only be described as totally unacceptable. There are accounts of people being stung and they recommend to just lie down and start screaming, because few if any people could maintain verbal and physical coordination after being stung.
I am so glad he wasn’t in an aggressive mood..
He sure is pretty, I had to get closer.
They only eat nectar. They are named Tarantula Hawk because they paralyze the spider and drag them into the den. Here the wasp lays the egg that hatches into larva and feeds of the spider while it is still alive for several weeks. Spooky huh?