Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tarantula Hawk Wasp

A few days ago, while Fiona was tending to her new heirloom tomato bed she across this large Tarantula Hawk Wasp dead on the ground.  I have seen these wasps from a distance at Garrapata, but never this close and personal.  Allegedly these insects have a good temperament and are not known to be aggressive towards humans.  This is fortunate because their sting is said to be second only to the bullet ant in the intense debilitating pain it inflects on its target.  The name Tarantula Hawk comes from a macabre and bizarre ritual where the female insect stings a tarantula and incubates a single egg inside the still live poisoned spider.  She then traps the paralyzed spider inside its own burrow so the wasp pupa can feed on the spider before emerging from its abdomen.

Despite this gruesome history - the wasp is quite delicious quickly fried and seasoned with cumin and sea salt.........  Just kidding.......... this is one local item you will never see in my kitchen.

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