Not all damsels are in distress.

Some of them can just… fly away.

27762026-DamselflyExcept when they end up as Robber fly meals, I suppose.

Update! Thursday, July 07, 2011. Turns out that the damsel’s a Golden Dartlet, the Ischnura aurora.

Continue reading “Not all damsels are in distress.”

Not all damsels are in distress.

Quest for a Rose.

So you’re an ant. A worker ant at that. Doing what you are really good at. Working, that is. In this case, it would be harvesting a fallen coconut flower. Hardly a hotly-contested meal, by anyone’s guess.

And when you see the approach of a seriously badass caterpillar, lusting after the same food-y bits on the flower, you would discover how WRONG you were.

27519446-All_for_a_flowerThe caterpillar was nastier, but the ants were faster, fortunately. They skedaddled in seconds.

Continue reading “Quest for a Rose.”

Quest for a Rose.

Always have an escape plan.

27328984-Albino_Argiope_Cross_Spider127328987-Albino_Argiope_Cross_Spider3Before you ask, no, I don’t think a week can go by without a Cross spider or an Argiope post at The Daily Critter. In fact, I think it deserves its own tag from now on.

What I want to show you in this picture is the little round hole in the web just below the abdomen of the critter. In almost all Argiope webs, you’ll find a similar hole, roughly in the centre of the web. Odd as it might seem, this hole is the spider’s escape hatch. The hole is just a bit larger than the spider’s abdomen, which is as large as the spider gets… the legs and the rest are really good and squeezing through.

The moment their web’s disturbed, when an idiot “photographer” like yours truly ends up getting a bit too close for the critter’s comfort, in a flash it ducks through to the other side. And believe it or not, now it’s safe. Anything that has to come at it has to come through the full might of the Orb web, the strong silk, the sticky bits, everything.

Some while some spiders may dive bomb to safety, some like to play it cool, just slipping to the other side when things get all hairy.

Continue reading “Always have an escape plan.”

Always have an escape plan.

Empty your pockets and give me your insects.


Above is a portrait of a Robber Fly (Family Asilidae). Apparently, they’re much nastier than I gave them credit for.

Wikipedia tells me that they use their proboscis to stab and inject victims with saliva containing neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes which paralyze and digest the insides; and then the fly then sucks the liquefied meal through the proboscis. Brrr. And they have wasps, grasshoppers, dragonflies and even some spiders in their list of prey. 

That makes it one helluva weird apex predator.

Continue reading “Empty your pockets and give me your insects.”

Empty your pockets and give me your insects.