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Life & Death Struggle In The Sonoran Desert Between A Tarantula Hawk And A Tarantula

While watching this video, I must say, I really don’t care who wins the fight. I can’t stand wasps and I REALLY don’t like spiders.

While watching this video, I must say, I really don’t care who wins the fight. I can’t stand wasps and I REALLY don’t like spiders. Watch a Tarantula Hawk repeatedly stings and paralyzes a Tarantula. A tarantula hawk is a spider wasp that hunts tarantulas. Tarantula hawks belong to any of the many species in the genera Pepsis and Hemipepsis.

They are parasitoid wasps, using their sting to paralyze their prey before dragging it to a brood nest and afterwards the entrance is covered. The tarantula  serves as living food for a single egg that is laid on the prey, hatching to a larva which eats the still-living prey.

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Sex of the larvae is determined by fertilization; fertilized eggs produce females, while unfertilized eggs produce males.When the wasp larva hatches, it creates a small hole in the spider’s abdomen, then enters and feeds voraciously, avoiding vital organs for as long as possible to keep the spider alive.

After several weeks, the larva pupates. Finally, the wasp becomes an adult and emerges from the spider’s abdomen to continue the life cycle. The life and death struggle below was being played-out in the Sonoran Desert.

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The Sonoran desert wraps around the northern end of the Gulf of California, from Baja California Sur, north through much of Baja California, excluding the central northwest mountains and Pacific west coast, through southeastern California and southwestern and southern Arizona to western and central parts of Sonora.



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