Sunday, July 31, 2011

Horrifying Sunday - Tarantula Hawk

Hello good friends! I hope nobody notices that it is in fact Sunday, not Tuesday. Perhaps nobody will notice eh? It'll be between me and you, don't tell anyone! If anybody asks, it's Sunday. Without further ado, here's today's post.

The Tarantula Hawk towards in un-trained ear, sounds like a combination of a giant creepy crawlie, and the swift power of a hawk. In the terms of being horrifying, you'll be completely correct. The Tarantula Hawk isn't a giant Hawk flying around with eight legs, spinning random webs everywhere; It's actually a "Spider Wasp".

"Well that sure did clear it up Mister Norman!" Hold your horses, let me explain. The Spider Wasp could be easily defined as a Wasp grown and trained, to be natural Spider Bounty Hunters. In our case, our species specifically hunts Tarantulas.

Film Not Related.

The Tarantula Hawk is a two inch, blue-black body, rust colored wings killing machine. Nature even gave them long hooked claws for presumably extreme grappling martial arts against their Tarantula kin.

Pictured: Real Tarantula Hawk Encounter

Before you decide to buy a hundred of them, and release them into your house to kill all the spiders, hear me out. These insects have the most painful stings in the entire world of insects, which is saying something. People stung by this insect have said that it's such a immediate, unbearable pain, that you're left unable to do anything but scream. Only the legendary Bullet Ant surpasses the list in unbearable pain; With the Tarantula ranked as second, you wouldn't want to find yourself in a bed full of them. Unless you're one of those people.

Well, that was pretty scary, enough for a day right? Lets call it quits while we're ahead right? No.

When a Tarantula captures and maims its prey, it'll usually drag or transport the spider back into its nest of pain and agony, or a hole in the ground. After that, the spider wakes up, and finds him/herself trapped in the dark alone. While it beings to regain consciousness, a single egg hatches just outside the spider's belly. A young adventurous wasp larvae digs itself into the spider in order to devour it's flesh, while avoiding major organs to keep the flesh as fresh as possible.

As you can assume, the spider to frantically throwing itself at walls, slowly discovering in sheer horror the hundreds of other spider corpses lying around. Right before the spider explodes from fear, it explodes. Once the larvae becomes fully mature, it'll burst out of the spider like in the movie Aliens. As the spider dies of death, the mature Tarantula Hawk will repeat the process again, with another unfortunate spider.

The real picture from the movie was too graphic to post here. That's how horrible it was.

On a lighter side, Tarantula Hawks are known to occasionally digest fermented fruits, which sometimes intoxicates them, making flying around difficult. Hahaha, imagine that, intoxicated wasps flying around completely wasted. Imagine the cute cartoon wasp flying around with a little novelty sized beer mug with a small drop of alcohol as it flies around intoxicated, then imagine it getting arrested by another cute wasp wearing a adorable police uniform. Does that make you feel better?

On an actual brighter note, male Tarantula Hawk's don't hunt and kill spiders, they primary feed off flowers of various plants. (Sometimes, females do as well. Although less commonly.)

The male Tarantula Hawks participate in a reproduction scheme known as "Hill-Hopping". You've got a picture of big cute wasp with big eyes jumping on small mountains in a green field don't you?

Hill-Hopping, includes all the male of the species, fighting to get as high as possible on the hill. When the female is ready to reproduce, they would fly up the hill, and reproduce with the highest male, since they beat all the other wasps, thus genetically fit of continuing the species.

Fun Fact: Fallout: New Vegas include large mutated Tarantula Hawks called, "Cazadores". For the sake of gameplay, they are generally larger and more aggressive than their real-life counterpart.

"After the Nuclear Apocalypse, I will eat you."

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