Eternal Death Grip

This fantastic specimen shows two formidable foes caught forever in their mutual destruction. The wasp (Pepsis rubra) is from a group known as tarantula hawks, which hunt and paralyze tarantulas, bringing them to their burrows as food for their larvae. Typically an egg is laid on the tarantula and the larva eats the paralyzed host. The tarantula (probably Cyrtopholis sp.) is also a venomous predator.

In this case, it seems each was able to kill each other, and they remained joined in death with the tarantula’s fangs gripping one of the wasp’s legs.

Bonus: The oleander caterpillar moth (Empyreuma affinis) is a wasp-mimic that mimics Pepsis rubra.

One Response to “Eternal Death Grip”

  1. Andres Says:

    This is awesome.