Saturday, July 29, 2006

Yellow Death

Hungry predators can be hiding right under your nose. Tell that to the bee fly. The only reason I saw what was occuring here is because of unnatural movements made by the bee fly. With wings abuzzing it appeared as if was hovering upside down. As I knelt down for a closer look I saw what was happening. The beefly wasn't hovering upside down as I thought but was actually in the clutches of a goldenrod spider (Misumenopes vatia). It blended so well with the petals of the flower that I (along with the bee fly) was unaware it was there.

Goldenrod spiders do not build webs, but lie in wait. Useing the attractiveness of the flower as bait, the spider blends in amongst the petals until an unwary insect comes along. It is then grabbed, immobilizing by venom, and then its insides sucked dry. Not a pleasant way to go. Click on the photos for a closer look.

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