How to prey ?
- Followings are the examples that we recorded insect as predator.
Why Praying Mantids move in step towards its prey?
- When a Praying Mantids moving towards its prey, they move in step, i.e..,
they move forwards a little bit and then stop, a seconds later, it move
another step and then stop, until they reach their prey. This kind of motion
may be more famous in the chameleon and some of the lizards. They move in
steps and stop. We can also see this kinds of movement in some
spiders. This may look funny to our human eyes, but I think there is the
advantage for so many animal are doing this. Since all of them are predator
to insects, I spectacular that this kind of motions could be invisible to
insects eyes. This kind of motions may be not sensitive to the insect eyes.
So the insects predators evolutes this kind of motions to approach the prey.
When the praying mantid is very close to it prey, why it starts to swing it
head side way? Why the eyes of praying mantid are separated more than other
- We can also notice that when the praying mantid is very close to the prey,
it start to swing it head left and right. I gauss the praying mantid doing
this is to measure the distance from the prey accurately. By swinging
its head, the mantid create the viewing angle with the prey, as the above
picture. With the larger viewing angle, the more accurate distance can be
- The larger view angle can also explain why the praying mantids have their
eyes more separated than the other insects so that they can locate precisely
their prey at close distance
The Cicada Sound beside calling for mate
Different cicada species sings different song. From the song we can tell the
One hot summer weekend when I was working in front of my computer on this Brisbane
Insects and Spiders web site, as usual I heard many of this Floury Baker
Cicadas singing outside in our backyard on the Maple tree. Suddenly I heard a
new cicada song. The song had quite different pattern which I had never heard
before. I thought there must be a new species of cicadas came to visit us. I
immediately took my camera outside and look for it.
What I found was not a new cicada species. Instead it was a Floury Baker
Cicada attacked by a Praying
Mantid. The cicada might try to deter the mantid but with no luck.
Case Moth Caterpillar attacked by Ichneumon Wasp
- Case 50mm in length
- Living in the case does not guarantee safety. In early spring we
found this case moth caterpillar (Leaf
Case Moth) attacked by a Ichneumon
Wasp on a Acacia tree. Although the caterpillar was protected by
its case bag, it seemed it was useless to prevent the attack from the wasp.
We saw the caterpillar head come out a few times try to get rid of the wasp
but no use either. The wasp kept on punching her long ovipositor into the
case bag for over halve an hour.
The Spider Wasp found a spider
- We took those pictures in Karawatha Forest during mid summer. The spider
had paralyzed when we found them. The spider seemed too large for the wasp to handle. We watched for 15
minutes and did not move a bit.
- A Potter Wasp found a prey. It was a small caterpillar hiding in its
shelter. The shelter was built by silk binding leaves together. The
caterpillar seemed quite safe inside. However, after the wasp confirmed
there was a caterpillar inside, the wasp cut open a small hole and stung the
caterpillar. Then the wasp cut the leaves and got the caterpillar back to
its 'Pot' as the food of her
- Delta sp. subfamily EUMENINAE, body length 18mm
A Paper Wasp Worker Found a Large Caterpillar
- In a early summer afternoon, we saw a Paper Wasp worker found a large
caterpillar among the flowers. The caterpillar was creamy-white in colour with
a blue-green head, look like a Skipper
Butterfly larva. The caterpillar was too heavy for the wasp to carry away.
- The wasp pull the caterpillar to the top of a flower bud and start to
cut its body with her sharp mouthparts. We noticed that that caterpillar
was dead and part of its body was missing. This indicated that this may be
the second time the wasp came back to the caterpillar, or other
insect/wasp may have found and cut the caterpillar first.
- The wasp cut a large piece from the caterpillar and carefully pack it
into ball shape for easy carrying. Then she started to fly back home to
feed their larvae. We noticed that the wasp circle around over the
caterpillar body a few time before she disappear. We believed she did that
to recognize the location so that she could come back after deliver the
A bug captured by Tree Ants
bug had tried to escape but was held tightly by the ants. A few minutes
later, about ten more ants came and each held the legs and antenna of the
bug. More and more ants came to help. Some ants started to climb on the
bug's body and bite off its wings. I think this is to prevent its escape.
Notice that there was an ant, which was slightly larger in size (in the top
left corner of each pictures), standing behind those ants. It seemed it was
the commander of this bug-catching operation. It never helped to hold the
bug, but its touching the smaller ants in turn could be giving instructions.
Ant lion's Trap
- The sand traps are about 40mm diameter. The Antlion sit at the middle of
the trap, covered by sands. When an ant walk inside the trap, some sands
fall into the centre alert the Antlion, then it flicks more sands to the ant
and cause the 'land sliding'. The ant then fall towards the centre and the
Antlion attacks the ant by its long jaws.
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