Despite its name, the Tarantula Hawk (Pepsis hemipepsis) is neither a Tarantula nor a Hawk.
It is however, terrifyingly awesome.
Tarantula hawks are a spider wasp (wha?!?!) that hunt tarantulas. That’s right, those big scary spiders of your nightmare? They hunt them. Hunt. Them.
All this despite their slightly smaller size (2 in) relative to the tarantulas (3 – 12 in) . Their stinger can be up to 7mm long, and is generally considered to be the second most painful sting in the world. Would not want to do this kind of research, but it’s awesome someone has quantified this.
Want to hear/read/see more (yep). Check out this story over on NPR.
Or check out this video.