I happened to be seated on the grass, next to my lounging dog, taking a break from photographing at my favorite weed patch, when I saw this unusual caterpillar. The species was commonplace and dull enough, but it was moving in an odd, twitchy way. The ground cover being of thyme and various grass and other plants, it makes for almost like a micro-forest; being above the micro-canopy, it took a while to finally see the rove beetle attacking the caterpillar.
It appeared to bite savagely into the caterpillar. It was a bit of tiny horror, but such is the way of life; I figured it was a battle predator and prey, and so it goes. Or so I thought. Honestly other than the apparent violence I’m not sure what was going on, because after a while of observing and photographing this one-sided fight, the rove beetle simply stopped, walked off, in a suddenly much calmer manner, under the grass cover and left the caterpillar for dead. It seemed like a waste of a kill, but perhaps it was a fatal case of trespassing? I can’t really say, but it was a sad thing to witness. I poked the caterpillar which still seemed to be alive, but there wasn’t much to be done for it. I looked up and around the yard and nothing had changed; the sun was still bright, a light occasional breeze blowing, the gentle summer drone still humming. So it goes.
(Black and white versions below.)