Monday, August 26, 2013

From a cradle to a grave

When the rose hip flies lay their eggs, they appear quite vulnerable.  The flies that I watched spent more than a minute with their ovipositors embedded in the rose hips.  If a predator was lurking nearby, it seems that the flies would have trouble escaping in time -- and, indeed, the rose hips are crawling with predators.

A jumping spider (probably an Eris species) sitting on a rose hip.
I can usually find jumping spiders on the rose plants and often on the rose hips themselves.  However, despite the apparently easy targets presented by the rose hip flies, I have not seen any being consumed by the jumping spiders.  Instead, I came across one of the jumping spiders with what I consider to be a much trickier prey item: another spider!

A cobweb spider (Enoplognatha ovata) being eaten by a jumping spider on a rose hip.

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