If you’ve spent time on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, you may have come across the tarantula hawk. They are characterized by their dark blue, iridescent bodies, bright orange wings and long legs. While they might look fun and festive for the spooky season, these are not insects you want to go to a Halloween party with. The tarantula hawk is ranked as providing one of the most painful stings on the planet, even for humans! Although they will not sting unless provoked, please be alert the next time you are out on the Landmarks.
These wasps are found in every continent in the world except for Europe and Antarctica. In the United States, they are found in the deserts of the southwest and throughout the Landmarks.
While the tarantula hawk makes the biggest spider run away in terror, they really are not a threat to humans. Tarantula hawks live docile, solitary lives. If you see one on the Landmarks just be sure to admire their size and colors from a safe distance.
For more information on local insects and wildlife around the Landmarks, visit IRConservancy.org, LetsGoOutside.org or follow the Landmarks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.