Fly worked over by jumping spider

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Fly worked over by jumping spider

Post by rjlittlefield »

At ... hp?t=40072, I showed you a jumping spider in the process of working over a fly.

It happened that after a while the spider dropped the remains of the fly into a place that was clean enough I could retrieve them for examination.

There was an impressive amount of damage!


Stereo pair, crossed eye:


Clearly the process is not as simple as "insert fangs, suck victim dry".

In fact the victim got worked over quite a bit, with multiple puncture wounds into various body cavities that were worth the trouble.

The legs of this subject are pretty much intact, except for gaping holes around the joints where they attach to the thorax. The eyes and abdomen show numerous puncture wounds, as seen here.


Technical: Canon T1i camera, Mitutoyo 5X NA 0.14 M Plan Apo at 5X, 86 frames at focus step 0.020 mm. Zerene Stacker, stereo at +-3% in portrait orientation, which is also very close to +-3 degrees, so total 6 degrees of stereo separation. Both the single image and the stereo images were retouched from corresponding Stack Selected of just the front half of the stack, to address "transparent foreground" artifacts mostly around the foreground antenna and proboscis.

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Post by brentbristol »

Wow! Would not have thought that such "cute" little spiders could be so rough!
The trouble with quick and dirty is that the dirty remains after the quick is gone.

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Post by Bob-O-Rama »

Never really though about it that way. I always though it was like drinking a ornithopterous smoothie. "That will buff right out"

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Post by BugEZ »

Rik wrote
There was an impressive amount of damage!
Yes, but compared to the feeding habits of Preying Mantis that grind up and consume nearly everything but the wings, spiders are quite dainty in their treatment of flies.

In my study of the colorful Long-Legged Flies (Dolichopodidae or “Doli”) on the hosta plants in my yard, I find the occasional Diptera crime scene. Spider killed flies usually can be recognized by paired puncture wounds. They go after the head, thorax and abdomen. The predatory Hybotoid Dance Flies are exceptionally clean killers leaving the victim’s thorax and abdomen intact and only sucking out the fly’s brain and eye cavity. They do this with a single puncture in the back of the head. The “hit men” of Doli fly killers. They have quite the “weapon” to accomplish this!

Tiger Flies are also occasional Doli predators, and hang out on the hosta leaves. When I do “broadcast sweep netting” above the lawn I have to remove them quickly from the net or they will catch and suck dry several other critters in a few minutes. Their abdomens go from cigar shaped to pea shaped quickly as they work over their fellow inmates. They don’t typically bother with the head being abdomen and thorax feeders.

So, thanks for sharing these images!


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