UrsulaV (ursulav) wrote,

Predators and Prey

Okay, trying to put these behind a cut. Let me know if it doesn't work for anybody. If you are an in RSS feed and sensitive to unsettling images, LOOK AWAY NOW. I got two shots of predation going on. They are good shots but if they will trouble your sleep, look away.

This thoughtful mantis wants you to look away.

Okay. We shall assume that if you made it past the Thoughtful Mantis, you want to see this.
[Mild Horrors Await!]

This is a Red Polistes Wasp, probably P. carolina. It's decimated a Genistes Broom Caterpillar, much to my delight, since those suckers have completely overrun my Baptisia and nothing eats them except wasps. It's not so much that it's a great photo as just...look at that thing! That is a marvel of diabolical engineering right there!

And here's the one that I flattened a fair amount of flowers charging after:

I'm not QUITE certain, but I think this is the extraordinarily wonderfully named "Red-Footed Cannibalfly." It had just taken a bumblebee, probably a Brown-Belted, but I am even less sure of that. (It was about the size of an Eastern Carpenter Bee, but obviously I wasn't going to try to take it away and get an ID, and the local yellow-faced bees usually turn out to be Brown Belteds.)

It was not terribly happy with my paparazzi treatment, but I chased it down and got a photo of the crime, perched on a mallow stalk.

Robberflies are powerful predators and this one is a giant, known as a "Bee Panther." (How badass is that!?) It is so large that there are even reports of it tackling hummingbirds!  (There is only one report of one actually succeeding, and that was the even larger "Beelzebub Bee-Eater," the largest robberfly in North America.)

And, bonus, This Mantis Has Been Eating Recently (at least, I'm pretty sure that's what that is...)

It was actually grooming its mouth bits when I took the photo. Kinda creepy, honestly.

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