A vespa Pepsis (Pepsis sp) é um inseto ectoparisitoide, ou seja, caçam e depositam seus ovos em outros seres para que lá eles se desenvolvam se alimentando do hospedeiro. Pertencem à família das Pompilidae e são predadoras das aranhas caranguejeiras.
Esta espécie de vespa pica a aranha e a deixa paralisada pela ação do veneno.
Elas injetam os ovos no interior do corpo da aranha. Quando nascem, as larvas vão comendo por dentro a aranha sedada, tomando o cuidado de não devorarem os órgãos vitais da aranha para mantê-la viva o maior tempo possível. Isso vai garantindo comida fresca até as larvas completarem o desenvolvimento.
No Brasil ela também é conhecida por mata-cavalo ou cavalo-do-cão, nomes nada convidativos. O inseto, que pode alcançar até 5 cm de comprimento, tem patas com “ganchos” que se prendem à vítima para que o ferrão, de quase 1 cm, possa ser devidamente fincado.

A dor da picada dura só três minutos, mas é tão intensa que faz seres humanos ficarem encolhidos e sem reação. Os entomologistas aconselham quem for ferroado a deitar e gritar por ajuda, porque poucas pessoas conseguem manter qualquer coordenação física depois de levar uma ferroada dessas.
Mas ela não é agressiva e não costuma atacar se não for perturbada.

A luta da Pepsis com a tarântula, bem maior que ela, é como se fosse um campeonato. A vespa caçadora fica tentando virar a aranha de pernas para o ar para alcançar sua barriga – o ponto mais vulnerável da vítima. As duas brigam por vários minutos, mas quase sempre a vespa vence. Um estudo que observou 400 disputas, só em uma delas a tarântula conseguiu sobreviver. Isso porque basta uma picadinha da vespa para que a aranha fique completamente sem ação e não ofereça resistência nenhuma para receber o ovo, que ficará por semanas dentro dela até que as larvas estejam prontas para sair.
São mais de cinco mil espécies distribuídas em todo o mundo.
Esse incrível inseto constrói uma toca para levar a aranha com seu ovo e neste vídeo uma vespa contrói um ninho com paina dentro de uma bromélia (Vriesea gigantea) , em Guaramirim (SC). Observe que ela transporta o chumaço de paina e depois ajeita no ninho como se fosse um passarinho.

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