Tarantula Hawk Wasp

Proud to be a New Mexican

The dance.

I recently learned that this hair-raising moniker belongs to New Mexico’s official state insect. It’s an ass-kicker. The Tarantula Hawk Wasp’s sting is supposed to be excruciating, and, yeah, it preys on Tarantulas and other large spiders. To add insult to injury, after the spiders’s been paralyzed, the wasp lays an egg on it, then buries the poor thing alive. The wasp larva hatches within a few days, then eats the spider. Take that, Delaware.

The kill.