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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you who are not familiar with these flying beasts, here is a picture of one:

Hand Plant Arthropod Insect Pollinator



Terrifying f*ckers. However, despite my heart rate skyrocketing every time I nearly ride into one of these nightmares, they don't seem aggressive?? The typical wasp/hornet/yellow jacket would surely chase or get provoked, but these bastards will just fly away.

I'm in Southern California.

Anybody noticing these things more than before?
 

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Disgruntled Peccary
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They're everywhere every year here. Docile, yes, but don't get stung by one. It's one of the most painful of all insects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Makes sense. And I could also be noticing them more because I made the stupid mistake of watching some YouTube guy catch one and deliberately sting himself. Which is how I learned about these inner-circle-of-hell monsters. Now... I notice them.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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When I lived in San Diego I saw them all the time east towards the desert.

In the mid 1990’s I stepped on one. Holy crap! Worst pain I’ve ever endured. I’ve been stung by several species of hornets, wasps and bees. None of those stings compared to the pain this thing delivered. Straight to my knees I went almost in the fetal position. This was at El Capitan reservoir, I was jet skiing and packing up for the day. Barefoot and carrying gear up the mountain side to the truck when I stepped on it. I was in such pain my girlfriend had to take me to the emergency room. A shot of something and within a day I was fine.

Fast forward several years and I found out they rank number two on the pain scale of insect sting / bites on humans. 👀 I’ll vouch for that.

As J.B. Weld said, they don’t bother humans but rather are more concerned with hunting tarantulas, just don’t step on one and you’ll be fine.

For those unaware, they hunt Tarantulas. Moving clumps of dirt and rocks over way bigger than themselves in search of a Tarantula den. Quite fascinating to watch them do this. Once they find a Tarantula den they fight the Tarantula flipping the spider over and stinging it’abdomen. The venom is so powerful the Tarantula immediately becomes paralized. The wasp then drags the alive but paralyzed spider back to the spiders own den. The wasp then lays “one single egg” on the abdomen of the spider then covers the spider den back up and leaves. The baby wasp hatches and feeds on the “LIVE” paralyzed spider until strong enough to leave and fend for itself. The things horror movie scripts are written from. By the way, only the female Tarantula Hawk has such a lethal sting and is larger than the male wasp.

In action here:
 

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Yes, it’s now tarantula season and with those comes the wasps. I’m seeing lots of them in my area too (Los Angeles). Awesome bugs, they are.

Go out for a night ride now and you may very well see a tarantula or three.
 

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For those of you who are not familiar with these flying beasts, here is a picture of one:




Terrifying f*ckers. However, despite my heart rate skyrocketing every time I nearly ride into one of these nightmares, they don't seem aggressive?? The typical wasp/hornet/yellow jacket would surely chase or get provoked, but these bastards will just fly away.

I'm in Southern California.

Anybody noticing these things more than before?
I live in Socal. Where the heck are you seeing these things?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm in Calabasas (North Los Angeles). I usually ride in Agoura Hills / Oak Park / Malibu.

Reports of them in San Diego, too.

Apparently where there are tarantulas, there are these things.
 

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Rides all the bikes!
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Welcome to SoCal?

I see them the most when I ride at Vail, but I see them anywhere I ride in desert conditions.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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I live in Socal. Where the heck are you seeing these things?
Anywhere and everywhere just 5 miles or more inland from the coast, where the tarantulas live. ;) They don’t bother humans unless you step on one.
 

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I'm in Calabasas (North Los Angeles). I usually ride in Agoura Hills / Oak Park / Malibu.

Reports of them in San Diego, too.

Apparently where there are tarantulas, there are these things.
WTF.... I haven't run into any of these yet... I ride in T.O / Oak Park / Wildwood.... Most of my riding is in the morning... do these come out in the evening?
 

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Welcome to SoCal?

I see them the most when I ride at Vail, but I see them anywhere I ride in desert conditions.
Great, that’s just awesome. I ride at Vail pretty regularly, I haven’t seen one yet, but now one more devil spawn to watch out for/stress out about. I would have had a much better day being blissfully ignorant that they’re around Vail. One more reason to consider moving to New Zealand.
 

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Disgruntled Peccary
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I'm always sort of bummed when I see that, I really dig the tarantulas (especially when they panic). Then again, same's true of most other predation that happens here (except when I see packrats predated upon by snakes.. or even better roadrunners.. I love watching those little velciraptors predate)
 
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