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Tarantula hawk wasp latin dict size=2   common dict size=235
Image Info Original File Name: Tarantula Killer Wasp.jpg Resolution: 275x274 File Size: 31636 Bytes Upload Time: 2005:12:03 01:33:29
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Subject Tarantula hawk wasp

Tarantula hawk wasp; Image ONLY
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The Tarantula hawk wasp (Pepsis formosa) is the state insect of New Mexico. It belongs to a family of wasps called the Pompilidae, or spider wasps. These large, robust wasps are easily identified by their iridescent black bodies and orange wings with smokey borders. They were voted the state insect of New Mexico (beating out the Jerusalem cricket and the yucca moth) by sixth graders.

The tarantula hawk is a species of spider wasp which hunts tarantulas as food for its larvae.

Up to two inches (50 mm) long with a blue-black body and bright rust-colored wings, tarantula hawks are among the largest of wasps. The coloring on their wings warns potential predators that they are dangerous (Aposematism). Their long legs have hooked claws for grappling with their victims. The stinger of a female tarantula hawk can be up to 1/3 inch (7 mm) long, and delivers a sting which is rated among the most painful in the insect world.

The species is classified in the genera Pepsis and Hemipepsis, of the family Pompilidae in the insect Order Hymenoptera.
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