Sunday, September 26, 2021

Slaughter of Autumn

Very often, my fall images seem to be crime scene photos. I have not suddenly turned sadistic but I'm not apologetic either. It's how the cycle of arthropod life concludes. Nothing goes to waste. Most herbivorous insects do not live through the winter after they have reached adulthood. so they are now fair game to predators. Many predators are now in their prime, ready to continue the food chain that started with the abundance of plant growth after the summer rains.
A Calosoma sp. Carabid and a number of Pogonomyrmex sp. ants scavenge on a roadkilled Brachystola magna (Plains Lubber Grasshopper)
Misumenoides formosipes (Whitebanded Crab Spider feeding on Poecilanthrax sp (Bee Fly)
A female Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx) got herself a Sulphur. a welcome boost of proteine as she is ready to lay her big clutch of eggs
Zelus renardi, the small but fierce Leaf-hopper Assassin Bug. Probably the most common one around our backyard. It often tackles insects at least its own size. I have not seen any preference for leaf-hoppers.
Apiomerus flaviventris (Yellow-bellied Bee Assassin) lives closer to the sky islands. This assassin lives up to its common name and often grabs bees, but here it's shown with Pogonomyrmex sp., a Harvester ant. One of her sisters stung poor Kira in her right hind paw and she suffered greatly. Usually it's me.

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