The world of insects and spiders is a never-ending struggle where survival often means the demise of another arthropod. These little players engage in the big drama of life and death in their matter-of-fact way daily, sometimes the predator but only once the prey.
A robber fly has stabbed a snipe fly in the back.
A bumblebee mimic robber fly feeds on a jewel beetle, Agrilus ruficollis.
A wasp mimic robber fly hangs out while feeding on a rose chafer scarab beetle.
A crab spider feeds on its hover fly prey.
A welcome return: the first jumping spider spotted (outside of the house) was a zebra jumping spider doing the business of fly control.
Crab spider with Mirid plant bug prey
A long-legged fly is feasting on a smaller distant cousin.
House spiders (there’s two!) have vanquished the formidable Bold jumping spider, Phidippus audax.
Little Foes: the cobweb spider has contorted a longlegged fly into dinner.
A female cobweb spider feeds on a gnat.
These spiders look very different, but they are the same species. The red one’s big pedipalps, or simply palps — the black appendages at the front end of the spider — give it away as the male. These structures have developed as a container of sorts to transfer sperm to the female spider.
The female has a puffier abdomen and much less pronounced pedipalps.
Intraguild predation: the orbweaver spider with folded legs characteristic of dead arthropods appears to have fallen prey to a cobweb (?) spider.
This Dioctria sp. robber fly has made a meal of a small parasitoid wasp.