Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Eternal Battle... in the making...

I have been planning to make this taxidermy style display for a while, The fight involved is one of the most interesting in the animal kingdom, and yes, I am bias towards animals with more than four legs.

The display is going to be a small (around 9" high) glass dome with a Tarantula Hawk Wasp (Pepsis thisbe) attacking a Tarantula.
The Female Tarantula Hawk wasps track down tarantulas, usually larger than themselves. The Wasp will then sting and paralyse the tarantula, dragging it to a burrow in the ground, where the Wasp will lay eggs inside the tarantula, allowing the young larvae to hatch and consume the body.

Tarantula Hawk Wasps are known to have one of the most painful stings in the animal kingdom, and everything else on them is designed for the hunt, the jaws are huge and scythe-like, the feet are tipped with double grapple hook claws, and the Wasp's exoskeleton is much tougher than the average wasp, protecting it from the fangs of a struggling tarantula, not that they ever really get that close...

So, here is the work in progress,- I set out the Pepsis Wasp and Tarantula in dramatic poses, which was a lot more fiddly than expected, but it seems to have done the trick.


  1. Did I tell you that I was stung by a tarantula hawk in Arizona this last summer? So can describe what it actually felt like! It felt like a hot needle going in, and I knew EXACTLY what was happening as it occurred! It smarted for a few minutes after, but surprisingly never developed into a painful or swollen spot -- it just kind of faded away within hours. So almost an anticlimax... My yellow jacket stings of the past were much worse, actually.

  2. Oh wow, that doesnt sound like fun... I can imagine the actual piercing would be painful, the sting itself is huge!
    Its funny though, When I was stung by a common wasp it seemed much worse than a Hornet sting to me....