TARANTULAS & THEIR NEMESIS, TARANTULA HAWKS

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TARANTULAS

The word “tarantula” has been applied to several very different kinds of spider. The spider originally bearing that name is one of the wolf spiders, Lycosa tarantula, found in the region surrounding the southern Italian town of Taranto. Compared to new-world tarantulas, wolf spiders are not particularly large or hairy.

TARANTULAS
(From National Geographic)

The tarantula’s appearance is worse than its bite. Tarantula venom is weaker than that of a honeybee and, though painful, is virtually harmless to humans.
Photograph by Paul Zahl

Tarantulas give some people the creeps because of their large, hairy bodies and legs. But these spiders are harmless to humans (except for a painful bite), and their mild venom is weaker than a typical bee’s. Among arachnid enthusiasts, these spiders have become popular pets.

Tarantula – National Geographic

Tarantula

Type: Bug (Aphonopelma chalcodes)

  • Tarantulas give some people the creeps because of their large, hairy bodies and legs. But these spiders are harmless to humans (except for a painful bite), and their mild venom is weaker than a typical bee’s. Among arachnid …

 TARANTULAS
(from Wikipedia)

Tarantulas (as the term is used in North America) comprise a group of often hairy and very large arachnids belonging to the family Theraphosidae, of which …
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarantula – Cached

Tarantulas (as the term is used in North America) comprise a group of often hairy and often very large arachnids belonging to the family Theraphosidae, of which approximately 900 species have been identified. Some members of the same Suborder may also be called “tarantulas” in the common parlance. This article will restrict itself to describing members of Theraphosidae.

Some genera of tarantulas hunt prey primarily in trees; others hunt on or near the ground.

The biggest tarantulas can kill animals as large as lizards, mice, and birds.

A bird-catching tarantula

 

They can be found in the south and west parts of the USA, Central America, and down throughout South America to the southern parts of Chile, Argentina. Tarantulas can also be found throughout Africa, large parts of Asia and all over Australia. In Europe, there are some species in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, and in Cyprus.

A tarantula hawk is a spider wasp which hunts tarantulas as food for its larvae. Tarantula hawks belong to any of the many species in the genera Pepsis and Hemipepsis …
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarantula_hawk – Cached

Regardless of their fearsome reputation, tarantulas are themselves an object of predation, the most specialized of these predators are large members of the wasp family Pompilidae.

 

In the Americas, these insects are termed “tarantula hawks”, being parasitoids of tarantulas. The largest tarantula hawks, such as those in the genus Pepsis, will track, attack and kill large tarantulas.

They use olfaction to find the lair of a tarantula. The wasp must deliver a sting to the underside of the spider’s cephalothorax, exploiting the thin membrane between the basal leg segments.

This paralyzes the spider and the wasp then drags it back into its burrow before depositing an egg on the prey’s abdomen. The wasp then seals the spider in its burrow and flies off to search for more hosts. The wasp larva hatches and feeds on the spider’s non-essential parts and, as it approaches pupation, it consumes the remainder.

Tarantula hawks stalk, capture and paralyze tarantula spiders. An egg is laid on the victim; the spider is buried alive with the larva, which hatches …
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C1wFxEIj8E – Cached

Tarantula Hawks – Image Results

Tarantula... Tarantula... Tarantula... Tarantula...

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