Hemipepsis ustulata

Hemipepsis ustulata

''Hemipepsis ustulata'' is a species of tarantula hawk native to the Southwestern United States. Tarantula hawks are a large, conspicuous family of long legged wasps which prey on tarantulas. They use their long legs to grapple with their tarantula prey before paralyzing them with a powerful sting. Their stings are ranked second most painful in the insect world. The tarantula hawk is also the state insect of New Mexico. They are a solitary wasp species, displaying lekking territorial behavior in their mating rituals.