Tarantula Hawk


Description:The Tarantula Hawk is in the wasp family and is notorious for having the second most painful sting of any insect, second only to the South American Bullet Ant. This one is just about 2" from nose to tail. A monster. Fortunately, not aggressive , unless you are a tarantula. The females sting paralyzes the spider so it then acts as a host for the females egg. They hang around our milk weed but this one came up to the barrel cactus and I liked the yellow background to off set the reddish wings and body. They are strictly palynivore, pollen eaters.

Specific Feedback Requested:

All comments welcomed

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Canon R6, Canon 24-105. f 7.1, ISO 800, 1/500sec,
LR for adjustments and cropping.


Charlie, that is amazing, a 2-inch wasp that is also known for being the second most painful sting in it’s arsenal! Just glad you didn’t get stung trying to get a shot of him. I like how he shows up on the yellow too. What area did you find this guy?

We live in Marana, AZ and this is my back yard.

Hi Charlie, nice colors throughout this image as you mention. Nice contrast with the hawk and all the yellow. Those red wings are really special too - a real beauty of a wasp. A fine image even though the wasp seems a little soft in the large version (looks like it was on the move). Nice catch.

Thanks. He was headed back to the milk weed. Not much nectar on the cactus.

Great image, the red wings are just amazing. The wasp could not have been placed in a better place, the yellow color make up a great BG.