The tarantula hawk wasp is found almost worldwide, ranging from Southeast Asia to Australia, Europe and the Americas. They are parasitoid wasps that hunt tarantulas and use their large stinger to paralyze them. Once immobile, the wasp will drag their pray back to the nest as a living food source for the one egg that is laid on each tarantula the mother is able to track down. Fertilized eggs will produce only female wasps while unfertilized eggs will produce only males.
Tarantula hawks are among the largest wasp species in the world and have one of the most painful stings of any insect. One species, Pepsis formosa, has been named the state insect of New Mexico.