Friday, July 20, 2012

This was in my back yard an hour ago.



Yes, they really are that big. That's a tarantula hawk. It's a critter that eats nectar and pollen, but lays its eggs in tarantulas.

And no, that is not my hand. I've seen a lot, and even held a hissing cockroach, but I'm not that butch.

At first, I was terrified. Then I came around to the idea that this incredibly large critter, which kinda hops around in flight, is pretty cool. I just don't go outside when she's around. Luckily for me, they're not a communal species.

So, yeah. Tarantula hawk in my back yard. Friend La Belle Dame Sans Merci posted to my Facebook page, "This means you either have lots of tarantulas in your back yard, or a lot of tarantulas with hatching T-Hawk eggs in them."

I thanked her for being such a fucking comfort in my time of distress.

25 comments:

danielle said...

Saw one of these for the first time when we were in Sedona in May. Had to ask someone what it was! Unbelievably HUGE! Hopefully the tarantulas are not in your yard - she was jsut shopping around and decided NOT to stay!

Earl said...

I've heard of mosquito hawks, but tarantula hawks. Of course, I do like in the Houston area. Lots of mosquitoes. Earl

Red Stethoscope said...

Whaaaat? That is freaking scary looking!

Comrade Physioprof said...

Where the fucke do you live!?!?!? Cause I am staying the fucke away from there!!!!!

mindy said...

I think I would have to move. Holy shit. That's like, the size of a bird! That's not right. And the promise that there are a bunch of hairy, poisonous spiders hanging around around doesn't help.

On the bright side, this really puts the 1/8 inch spider in my kitchen that I've been piddling myself over all day long in perspective.

Amy said...

oh holy mother fuck! I saw a Palmetto bug while in Texas once, and have never returned to the state because that big ass bug might be waiting to get me. If I ever saw anything like that in my yard I would be on the next flight to the North Pole, where there are no bugs. You are a very brave woman!

Sarah G said...

I just peed a little that is one -ugly bug!

messymimi said...

Wow. And the poor tarantulas. (Yes, i be crazy, i'm an arachnophile.)

Ree said...

Everytime I start to miss Texas... I see something like this.

Amy - Palmetto Bug = Cockroach.

Jenn Clark said...

We have cicada killers in our yard. they are a huge wasp that lays eggs in cicadas. It stings them to paralyze them, carries them down into their burrow and then lays eggs in them. When they hatch, the babies eat the cicada. Look them up! They aren't harmless to people but they are huge and scary looking. I stay well out of their way!

Anonymous said...

I've always known Texas was a fucked up place. That's a creature out of a horror movie. Eewwwww. I'm never going to Texas again. My ex however is going there next week.... Muahahahaha..

Margaret said...

*hides under her bed*

Samantha said...

Hate to cause you more distress but the Tarantula Hawk rates a solid 4.0 on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index (my favorite pain scale).

http://insects.about.com/od/antsbeeswasps/tp/schmidt_sting_index.htm

We have them here on the Central Coast of CA and I hate them.

RehabRN said...

Girl!

Tarantulas AND those!

Methinks I'll stay right here in RehabLand...with much smaller critters.

The only good bug to me is a dead one, and boy, would that one squish (I don't like to smash those squishy ones...ugh)!

Laura said...

This is a THING? They actually EXIST? Never. Going. To. Texas. Ever.

Rosanna said...

OH. ~ MY. ~ GOD.!! ............

I'm perfectly fine fishing a loooong human tapeworm out of my patient's toilet for Lab analysis----(the "passage" of which, however, sent the poor patient's Nurse's Aide runnin'-right-out-of the patient's Hospital Room, haha!!)----but with a *thing* that............ "lays its eggs IN tarantulas"??!!

Even though I respect and appreciate The Laws Of Nature, THAT'S a real problem for me, Jo, because............ it makes me think of all of those p.a.r.a.s.i.t.i.c. things that can (and genuinely do) colonize............ the brain. (Yuk, DOUBLE yuk!!) I'm almost afraid to ask, but in your NCCU, have you had experience with............ any parasitization of the brain??

suzanne smith said...

i would have ran away screaming..lol

Life at Wildwood said...

We have these every summer in our garden in the foothills of Southern California. The sting is supposed to be extremely painful, but they are not aggressive and in 24 years we've never been stung. I've had them zoom past me many times.

Dr. Alice said...

Aiiii yi yi. That is some scary stuff. Interesting, but scary.

Suji said...

Oh, wow! It's my first time to see something like that! I think I don't have the courage to touch it. I've heard that their sting can cause an excruciating pain for about 3 minutes.

Geosomin said...

Tthis is why I have no plans to ever go to texas. I live in northern Canada where the absurdly cold winters keep bugs like this away.
Thank frog.

Mama D said...

Cripes. Lived in Houston for six years and never saw one of those, thankfully. The occasional roaches were scary enough! The fact that these critters presumably indicate the presence of tarantulas (shudder) is even worse. Have you ever seen one around? If so, hopefully OUTSIDE...

Rose said...

Wow, it is so big !! never saw an insect of that large ! so scary

Anonymous said...

Fuuuuk! Now I'm looking over my shoulder... and I was just looking for a hops picker.

Ben Vasquez said...

Well woke up this morning and in my bathroom was this taranula fight this big bug i googled it and its a taranula hawk it made this loud noise when flying like a weed eater it scared the bejesus out of me. I gave them 30 mins to settle their differences until i decided to open the door and peak inside found the tarantula hiding in a corner and the tarantula hawk pissed off at something flying raming into stuff looking for its friend. I live in texas and dam they suck ugh summer time sadness