Long-legged Fly with Prey

October 22nd, 2012 - 8:54 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

~7mm | August 23, 2012 | Sebring, Fl, USA

It wasn’t until I reviewed this shot on my camera and saw the prey, that I realized long-legged flies (family Dolichopodidae) are predatory.

Thread-legged Bug with Spider Prey

April 16th, 2012 - 9:29 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

30mm long | December 30, 2011 | Quirinópolis, Goiás, Brazil

This thread-legged bug appears to be hanging in mid-air, but in fact it has delicately balanced itself on a spider web. Its beak holds a small spider that it must have just plucked from the center of the web.

Some thread-legged specialize in spiders, and I wonder if this might be one of them. Some are even known to lure the spider by plucking at the web like captured prey might.

Another view

Jumping Spider with Prey

July 3rd, 2011 - 7:47 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

This little salticid has captured a small fly of some sort.

White scales on the chelicerae almost look like a mustache.

Frontal view

Army Ant Week Post #2

February 9th, 2011 - 6:34 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

July 20, 2006 | Ilhabela, Sao Paulo State, Brazil

These two photos are from my first trip to Brazil. I spent a week on the island of Ilhabela, a few hours drive from Sao Paulo.

I probably wouldn’t even have noticed these ants if not for the calling of antbirds. The birds were making quite a fuss so I moved in to investigate. That’s when I started to hear a light rustling noise and then noticed the ants carpeting the leaf litter. The rustling is not just the ants, but all of their potential prey trying to escape.

Below, they’ve managed to overwhelm a spider, er, well, actually just a shed spider skin. Honestly, I always believed this was a captured spider until reviewing it yesterday when I noticed something was off.

Not quite the juicy meal they'd hoped for

Silver Argiope with Wasp Prey

November 20th, 2010 - 9:42 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 2 Comments

January 27, 2010 | Caraça Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

This spider was on an exposed ridge overlooking the sanctuary. She appears to have caught a nice sized wasp.

This species often creates an X-shaped design (stabilimentum) in their web, and you can just see a hint of one extending to the lower right.

The common name Silver Argiope is consistent with the scientific name (argentata = silvery). Even the common name in Portuguese, Aranha-de-prata, translates as Silver Spider. It is indeed silvery.

Dagger Fly with Prey

September 11th, 2010 - 10:50 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

Awhile back, Alex Wild posted some shots of dagger flies. I commented at the time that I had recently seen and photographed the flies, but didn’t know what they were. Thanks, Alex, for saving me the effort of figuring out what I photographed here.

May 22, 2010 | Twelvestones, Roswell, GA, USA

I can’t make out what it has captured, a beetle maybe?

Jumping Spider Subdues Carpenter Ant

July 3rd, 2010 - 12:11 PM | Filed under Easter Eggs, Featured Photos | 1 Comment

June 16, 2009 | Twelvestones, Roswell, GA, USA

I found this pair on a viburnum in my backyard. What looks like a male Phidippus whitmani has subdued what I assume is a winged reproductive carpenter ant.

I didn’t notice while I was taking pictures, but while reviewing them I saw that a little fly arrived to share in the spoils.

Fly arriving

Fly on ant