Photo Synthesis

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An Amblyopone oregonensis huntress delivers a paralyzing dose of venom to a centipede. This lets the ant larvae consume it alive later, at their leisure. Ow. Ow, Ow. Yes, that is the stinger you see, sunk deep into the head.


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A cricket is impaled on the mandibles of a Malagasy trap-jaw ant, Odontomachus coquereli. That’s gotta hurt.


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Mantids don’t wait for their prey to expire before they tear them to pieces.


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An aphid receives the egg of a braconid wasp (Aphidius ervi).


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But that’s probably better than getting your innards suddenly schlorped out by a syrphid fly larva.

Comments

  1. #1 Tom
    April 16, 2009

    Great shots…that must be some great feeling when you got the first and the fourth shots. I wish i had more candidates around here to get some like these.

  2. #2 Alex
    April 16, 2009

    The wasp shot wasn’t actually that bad. Their behavior is predictable enough that if you watch them at work for a bit you’ll be able to anticipate oviposition, and the event itself lasts long enough (maybe a second?) to stand a good chance of getting it.

  3. #3 Patrick
    April 16, 2009

    Awesome! added to my RSS, can’t wait to see more.

  4. #4 Julie Stahlhut
    April 16, 2009

    Amblyopone in action is quite impressive. It takes a lot of moxie to be a specialist predator on centipedes!

    I’ve seen a mantid take a monarch butterfly in flight. I was watching the butterfly come in for a landing on a milkweed flower, when suddenly it seemed to flap itself inside out and hang motionless in midair. A big mantid had been perched on the plant, parallel to the stem, and it grabbed the butterfly before the latter had a chance to touch down.

    Also saw a mantid hang out on a thistle plant and grab a nectaring bumble bee. Zorak is a mighty hunter!

  5. #5 Eric
    April 16, 2009

    Awesome shots!! Hopefully I will be able to get some great mantis feeding shot’s soon.

  6. #6 jobin
    April 16, 2009

    Well alex, perhaps you should watch the cat with the mouse (and other predator mammals) more frequently before expressing such ‘rather not be’ statements!

  7. #7 Dunc
    April 17, 2009

    Mantids don’t wait for their prey to expire before they tear them to pieces.

    Most predatory mammals aren’t that bothered about checking for a pulse before they chow down either.

  8. #8 Alex
    April 17, 2009

    What’s all this talk about mammals? Boooooooooooooring………

  9. #9 alufelgi
    April 19, 2009

    In my opinion the largest threat for California are cataclysms and ecological catastrophes. Not important is how many money we have because one tragedy can us take all.

  10. #10 metin2
    May 14, 2010

    Mantids don’t wait for their prey to expire before they tear them to pieces.
    Most predatory mammals aren’t that bothered about checking for a pulse before they chow down either.
    thanks..

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