Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘prey

A wasp dragging a spider

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Along the Muir Lake Trail in Cedar Park on July 3rd I noticed a colorful and energetic wasp dragging a spider that it had immobilized. When I stepped closer to try to take a photograph the wasp went away, but I took a stance at a medium distance from the spider and waited for the wasp to return. It came and went several times, continuing with its task each time, and I managed to get some sharply focused pictures in spite of the frequent movement.

UPDATE: Thanks to John S. Ascher at BugGuide.net, I can now say this predator appears to be Tachypompilus ferrugineus, known as the rusty spider wasp, red-tailed spider hunter, or red-tailed spider wasp.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 23, 2017 at 4:45 AM

Green and yellow, kill a fellow

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Green Lynx with Killed Bee on Goldenrod 6571

On September 29th near the intersection of E. Stassney Ln. and Burleson Rd. in southeast Austin, I photographed some flowering goldenrod plants (Solidago spp.), among the first good ones of the season. On one plant I noticed a green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) that had killed a bee (I don’t know what species). Those of you who aren’t arachnophobic and would like an enlargement of the fatal encounter may click the following icon.

Green Lynx with Killed Bee on Goldenrod 6571A

After I’d taken a few pictures of the spider, a sharp feeling on the skin of one leg suddenly made aware that I’d been standing on a fire ant nest, so I had to give up trying for any more views of this little drama.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 8, 2015 at 4:58 AM

New Zealand: Southern black-backed gull

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Southern Black-Backed Gull with Stargazer 5949

On February 20th along the Wellington foreshore we noticed that a bird (which turned out to be an immature southern black-backed gull, Larus dominicanus) had found a fish (which turned out to be a spotted stargazer, Genyagnus monopterygius). At first glance the fish seemed dead, but as the gull kept pecking and pulling at it, the fish occasionally wriggled and proved that it was still alive, even if its stargazing nights were clearly over. To say that surviving in a state of nature isn’t always fun is an understatement.

Thanks to Dr. Colin Miskelly, Curator for Terrestrial Vertebrates at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, for confirming that the bird is an immature southern black-backed gull and for identifying the spotted stargazer. Dr. Miskelly hosts a blog dealing with New Zealand’s animals, and by coincidence a recent post showed southern black-backed gull egg and chick.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 15, 2015 at 5:32 AM

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