Hello folks who wonder if spiders get a better discount on their sneakers than other insects because of their extra pair of legs,

This one follows the story of an adult tarantula who is a hardworking citizen and pays its taxes on time. For people who can't imagine or follow along, I have sketched one to aid their imagination.





Imagine one day after work while going home, the tarantula feels a slight poke. In a hurry to watch the season finale of Stranger Things, the tarantula does not wait to assess the injury. On reaching home, it feels paralyzed and so it calls 911. In the emergency room, the doctor with a straight face, breaks the news that it was stung by a Tarantula Hawk, that not only injected venom to paralyze the spider, but also deposited an egg in its abdomen. So there is nothing the doctors can do except console the Tarantula while the baby of the Tarantula Hawk starts eating its way into the Tarantula's body. Don't you feel so grateful to be a human right now?
Tarantula Hawks are parasitoid wasps which are aptly named because the females will hover like hawks looking for an appropriate place to ensure it's kid has the best chance of survival which in this case is a paralyzed spider.

Below is how the Tarantula Hawk would hover over Tarantula Territory looking for any sudden movements before swooping in for the kill.




Only the females will scout for Tarantulas, the males feed on nectar while watching Saturday night football. One way we can differentiate females from males in Tarantula Hawks is by their curved antennas. Males have relatively straight antennas. Below is a female Tarantula Hawk with a distinct antenna curling akin to a San Francisco hipster's moustache. Also you can see the legs have hooked claws, used for grappling with the Tarantula.



In order to spot the Tarantula from a distance, these wasps need good eyesight. With a pair of compound eyes and 3 simple eyes, they are built for the job. Another factor that helps their vision is that they never skip their annual eye exams.



If you do look at the abdomen of a female Tarantula Hawk, you will see no reason why they get a bad rep. The pain inflicted by the sting of a Tarantula Hawk has been described by people who got stung similar to the pain of finding out your partner running away with your best friend while changing the Netflix password when they ran away. Nothing to see here, I wonder why people are so paranoid.



This is because the weapon comes out when they are close to the soft bodied part of the spider or when they feel threatened. You can see the stinger shooting from the end of the abdomen in a flash and then retracting back. This buys it enough time to get away from a predator(or a curious human) while the predator starts wriggling in pain. No humans have ever been killed by the Tarantula Hawk sting, but the sting is considered to be one of the most painful in the world.



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