A little murder

Images of undisturbed subjects in their natural environment. All subject types.

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MarkSturtevant
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A little murder

Post by MarkSturtevant »

I was in the woods one day when I came across this striped leaf beetle (Dirospidae sp.). I was gauging how to maybe photograph the beetle, when a predatory stink bug nymph suddenly ran up from behind and impaled it! Certain stink bugs are predatory, and I have seen them with dispatched prey that are much larger and more powerful than they are. One can fairly wonder how such slow insects might do this, but I guess it just takes a touch from their proboscis and its prey is hooked. The stink bug is Podisus sp.
ImagePredatory stink bug by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

The beetle dragged the bug behind for several minutes, but the bug grimly hung on. Inside the proboscis are a bundle of long thin bristle-like appendages that can scissor in and out of its meal, and these fit together to form a tube to slurp up liquified food. I expect digestive juices are also being injected from the proboscis to help increase the flow of nutrients to the bug. A plant feeding stink bug would do the same, only the meal would be plant not animal.
Gradually, the beetle began to slow, and then it was immobilized. A small murder in the woods!
ImagePredatory stink bug by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

Next up is a tiger beetle in the hand. The beetle was disabled for some reason, so it was an easy capture. I did not get the species.
ImageTiger beetle by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

Here is an inchworm. It looks like the larva of the common grey Geometrid moth, Anavitrinella pampinaria.
ImageInchworm by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

The black wasp shown here is in the family Tiphiidae. These grow up as parasitoids on burrowing beetle larvae.
ImageTiphiid wasp by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

And finally, here is a nymph of what is likely the two-spotted tree cricket, Neoxabea bipunctata. This is a young male, and you can see it is developing the specialized front wings that are used by males for chirping, and the larger fan-like hind wings which they fly with. In adults, the hind wings are of course folded up and covered by the front wings. But at this earlier stage the position of the wings are curiously reversed so that the hind wings cover the front wings.
ImageTree cricket nymph by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

Thanks for looking!
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

rjlittlefield
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Re: A little murder

Post by rjlittlefield »

Very nice -- the stink bug in action is a special treat!

--Rik

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AlP
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Re: A little murder

Post by AlP »

Dang, all the years I have been photographing stink bugs, I've never seen a predatory stink bug "milkshake" another insect. Good pix.

Adalbert
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Re: A little murder

Post by Adalbert »

very nice :smt038

Lou Jost
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Re: A little murder

Post by Lou Jost »

Really nice. The cricket wing arrangement is curious indeed. Perhaps the front and hind wings both extend and then fold down at some stage? That would seem to be the only way to do it.

MarkSturtevant
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Re: A little murder

Post by MarkSturtevant »

Thank you, everyone.
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

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