A tarantula hawk wasp defends her territory in Albuquerque.


Sandia Foothills, Albuquerque, New Mexico

While photographing in the Sandia Foothills above Albuquerque I kept hearing a strange, low buzzing sound. I ignored it, thinking it might be a hummingbird. I soon realized the sound wasn't coming from a hummingbird, but from a Tarantula Hawk Wasp -- an insect that apparently has the second most painful sting on the planet. It is also the state insect of New Mexico. The black and orange coloration serves as a warning to would-be predators to stay away. Since I had no intentions of eating this one, I hoped she wouldn't mind if I got close enough for a few photos.
I talked to an entomologist who deliberately stung himself with a captive Tarantula Hawk Wasp. He said that it was indeed very painful, and compared the pain to breaking an arm. I'll take his word for it.

Photo © copyright by Chris Ridgway.

ChromaLuxe™ Metal Prints

ChromaLuxe™ Metal Prints

ChromaLuxe™ HD metal prints are a visually stunning way to display your art. Unlike lower-quality metal prints, ChromaLuxe™ HD prints are made using a process of heat infusion, pressure, and time to permanently sublimate inks into the metal. This requires more time and precision, and hence costs more to produce. HD metal prints offer unparalleled reproduction of details, vibrant colors, and durability. HD Metal Prints are also surprisingly light and easy to hang with the included cleat and level. Options include matte or gloss finish; if you expect to hang your image near a bright window, consider matte for reduced glare. Mount options include a flush silver or black side, as well as a recessed aluminum float mount (floating 3/4" off the wall). Frames are available; please contact us for a quote if you are interested in framing.

Please allow three weeks for production and delivery.

Select a print size:

Lumachrome™ Metal prints generally require three weeks for production and delivery. Shipping is free on all orders over $150. For an additional fee rush orders available for prints. If you need a rush order, please contact us directly before placing the order.