Monday, August 24, 2020

Tarantula Hawk


This dude was at least 1.5 inches long, say 3.5 cm. Buffalo Park is the only place in Flagstaff that I have seen tarantulas and the season for mobile tarantulas is pending.

I went for a long run at Buffalo Park on Saturday. Then I drank some ice water that I had stashed in the car and walked another mile.

I saw the above Tarantula Hawk wasp near the entrance to the park. The Tarantula Hawk, obviously, hunts tarantula spiders. I've seen a few at Buffalo Park over the 5 years I've lived in Flagstaff. As a bonus, I've also seen huge male wolf spiders at Buffalo Park. These are virtually equal in size to the male tarantulas, though less colorful.

Spiders exhibit a characteristic called "sexual dimorphism" by us biologists, which means that the two sexes are not equal in shape or size. In the case of spiders, the females are usually much larger than the males.

I'm not sure I want to meet a female tarantula, or a female wolf spider in Flagstaff, because the male specimens are big enough for me.

It was a pretty good run, though not perfect. I don't think I will be able to run a solid 4 miles until I lose a few pounds. Unfortunately, I again ordered a massive takeout lunch from Texas Roadhouse, so any potential weight loss from the run was sacrificed to my stomach.

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