The pain index
Did you know that in 1984, Justin O. Schmidt developed a hymenopteran sting pain scale, now known as the Schmidt sting pain index. In this index, a 0 is given to a sting from an insect that cannot break through human skin, a 2 is given for intermediate pain, and a 4 is given for intense pain. Ouch. Spider wasps of the genus Pepsis, also known as tarantula hawks, have a sting rating of 4. The sting is described as "blinding, fierce, and shockingly electric. A running hair dryer has been dropped into your bubble bath." Only the sting of the bullet ant is ranked higher, with a 4+ rating.
GUEST PHOTOS...thank you Simon.
Here in Hong Kong we have a spider wasp identified by an arthropod expert as Batozonellus dorsalis that was found by Simon on Lantau - who took these pics. The female wasps dig their nests in the ground and supply larvae with spiders of the family Araneidae. Here you can see one dragging its immobilised prey to its nest.