Threaten Sign    


Insects as Prey

Spider is the major predator on insects

Insect's Predators

Insect's predator are mainly those vertebrates, they include birds, amphibians, small mammals and flash water fish. Those predators mainly depend on vision to find the insects. The invertebrate predators are the other insects and spiders.
Besides the predators there are the parasitoids. They are mainly other insects.

Five steps against predators

1.  Firstly, Not to be Found,
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There are different way to keep away from those predators hunt by vision;
- hiding in protected area. The mole crickets are one of the best in hiding.
- camouflage, disappear from the background. Check the camouflage page for the details.
- active at night, actually there are much most insects active at night than during the day time.
- strong body shell cover protections, like the beetles, are considered as a way of hiding.
 The problem is, your mates cannot find you neither. Insects have evolved many different ways to solve this problem.
2. If Found, Shows that you are not the Wanted,
If you are some danger insects, such as wasps, that will give the counterattack, or not tasty even toxic, like the Lycid Beetles, you better tell the predators before they attack you. This is why most danger and not-tasty insects (and other animals) have the bright body colour. This is a kind of warning signals. However, some insects which is not danger nor toxic also have the warning colours. We have more discussion on this in the mimicry page.Besides warning colours, there are some other ways to show the predators that you are not what they want, such as threaten sign and mimic something else, or even play dead. Please check this in our mimicry page.
3. If Wanted, look for Protection, Escape
The most effective way to avoid predation is escape before captured. Insects have development many different ways to escape, run, jump, fly, drop, retreat back to nest, etc..
4. If Can't Escape, Counterattack,
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Some insects will display the frighten patterns, making noise etc., to detour predators and increase chance of escape.
5. If Get Caught, Minimize the Loss
Some insects, such as the stick insects and grasshoppers, will break their leg to escape from the predators.

Two Australian Emeralds on Spider web

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Dragonflies and Damselflies have very good eyesight so in general they can avoid the spider web. However, we saw two Australian Emeralds get caught in spiders web, like the about pictures, a couple of  times. We can imagine that this was because a Australian Emerald intruder came into the territory of another Australian Emerald, both fought with each other and forgot to watch out for the dangers. Both end up in the spider web. 


Grasshopper is one of the common insect that we can easily find in bush or in garden. What make the grasshoppers so popular?

Grasshoppers sometimes regarded as pest in our garden. Their number is large.  Different species of grasshopper are easily found. 
Grasshoppers are common because they eat most kinds of plants. Not many insect species feed on all kinds of plants. Different plants have evolved different kinds of resistance to avoid being eaten by insects, such as taste, toxic, plants structure etc. So most of the plants eating insects feed on special kind of plants only. However, grasshoppers eat most kinds of plants. They have strong chewing mouthparts. They feed on almost all kind of plants in our garden and in natural habitat. They following our corps and plants, they come to our garden and our farm. This is sure one of the major factors for their success.  
Beside, grasshoppers have some other fitness factors. They fly, although not a very good flier. They have good eye sight, although not as good as dragonfly, flies, bee or butterfly, still goo enough to fly and to avoid predators. They do camouflage, although not as good as stick insect, but they have not given up the wings function, legs walking functions and good eyes sight.
Grasshopper's hind legs are their icon and this is also the major factor of their survival fitness. Their skill of jumping to escape form predators is very effective. The spiny and strange kick by their legs make some predators keep away from them.

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Up ] [ Insects as Prey ] Insects as Predators ] Insects and Plants ] Escape strategy ] Caterpillar Escape ] Mole Cricket Song ] Cow Pea Aphids ] Feigning Death Behaviour ] Eucalyptus Leaf Beetle ] Insects Migration ] Attended by Ants ]


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Last updated: November 07, 2006.