Enormous Hawk Wasp Carries Off Huntsman Spider For Feast In Australia
Another day, another reason why I’ll never go Down Under: a terrifying photo of a f*cking huge wasp carrying a huntsman spider has gone viral.
I have a crippling fear of spiders. Yes, I know, I often have absolutely no reason to be. I live in the UK, so I don’t really need to worry about your Black Widows, tarantulas and the like.
But, nevertheless, they scare me to my core. Not just spiders, but pretty much any bug or flying insect – so, please understand that having to constantly look at this picture was an ordeal.
If, like me, you can’t bear spiders and other creepy crawlies, I’ll just give you a second before explaining the image.
The photo, taken in Bronte, Sydney, shows a bright orange tarantula hawk wasp carting away a paralysed huntsman spider.
Posted to Reddit by u/space_monster, more than 3,500 users have commented on the image – generally, people are expressing their lack of surprise that it was snapped in Australia.
One user wrote: ‘Best part about this post? We all knew it was Australia without reading the description. WE JUST KNEW.’ Another replied: ‘One of these day’s someone’s going to find King Kong sitting on his ass in the middle of Australia and they will also have the same response.’
The tarantula hawk wasp is said to have the most painful sting in the world, with the title of second most painful insect sting going to the bullet ant.
While its sting only lasts for around five minutes, the pain is said to be so intense that the genuine medical advice upon being stung is to lie down and scream (which is pretty good advice for life in general I reckon).
Ben Hutchins, an invertebrate biologist at Texas Parks and Wildlife, told Wired:
There are some vivid descriptions of people getting stung by these things… and their recommendation – and this was actually in a peer-reviewed journal – was to just lie down and start screaming, because few if any people could maintain verbal and physical coordination after getting stung by one of these things.
You’re likely to just run off and hurt yourself. So just lie down and start yelling.
After paralysing the huntsman, the female wasp would then use the spider’s body as a living host to lay eggs. When the egg hatches, the larva eats the arachnid from the inside out.
Great, that’ll be me not sleeping tonight.
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This story has been reposted and is not contemporary news.