Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Tarantula Hawk (Pepsis sp)

Tarantula Hawk (Pepsis sp)

Tarantula Hawk (Pepsis sp) on Slender Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium). A male. I'd say he is P. menechma, but the experts say identifying a Pepsis species from a photo is "often impossible".  Females do provision their nests with spiders, but not necessarily tarantulas.  (Photo taken 7/5/14).

More info on BugGuide.




Lisa at Greenbow said...

Handsome bug.

Carol said...

Anything that hunts spiders is good in my book.

Kathie Brown said...

I thought they laid their eggs on the backs of tarantulas? Nice find and photograph.

Marvin said...

You are correct, Kathie. BugGuide says, "Females seek out tarantula burrows, paralyze them, and bury it in a burrow, laying a single egg. Larvae feed on the paralyzed spider." However, eastern species of Tarantula Hawks have few to no tarantulas, so they're thought to provision their nests with trap door spiders.