The Second Most Painful Insect Sting On Earth

Have you ever heard of an insect known as a tarantula hawk? Maybe you recognize the strange insect name as being the state insect of New Mexico. Or, perhaps, you have spotted one of these behemoths in the dessert, which you would not forget about being as its sizable frame makes it a rather terrifying creature to encounter.

This creature does not look like a tarantula or a hawk, but it does sport a quarter inch long stinger that can transmit a feeling of pain so intense that the Schmidt sting pain index ranks the TH’s sting as a four, and a four indicates maximum pain that cannot be surpassed. So if you do see one of these guys in the desert doing their thing, it would probably be best not to approach it, despite its reported lack of aggressiveness.

This insect’s stinger is meant for more than just pain and intimidation, it is also the mother’s primary tool for laying her eggs. The mother TH will use its stinger to paralyze a giant tarantula so that she can use its body as a shelter for her larvae. As the larvae mature, they feast on the tarantulas entrails until the little guys become big and strong enough to forcibly burst out of the long dead tarantulas body. That is a hell of a way to enter the world.

Would you allow yourself to be stung by a largely unknown species of insect in order to gauge the relative degree of pain produced by its sting or bite?



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