California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawks are gentle giants. I had always heard and read that the Tarantula Hawks fed on Tarantulas and have seen video of mom taking a tarantula into her den and laying eggs on it. The young Tarantula Hawks feed on the tarantula until they are mature enough to make their way in the world. From my observations of hundreds of these 3-4" wasps in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains near Bakersfield they also eat the nectar of the milkweed, Asclepias eriocarpa, Indian Milkweed. There were several sizes or instars of Tarantula Hawks present, with the smallest being around an inch long and the largest like this one about 2.5" long. Many other insects were on the milkweed including skippers, beetles and ants.

High resolution photos of Tarantula Hawks are part of our garden image collection.

Tarantula Hawk