February 19, 2010
Thanks for clearing up that velvet ant gender. This Lynx spider has caught herself a pod boring bug but is having to share it with minute flies that feed on the victims of spiders. I guess they must be immune to the effects of venom or feed before it has made its way through the body of the bug.
This is such an intricate Food Chain image and we are impressed with the excellent focus and detail on the individuals. The Common Lynx Spider is well represented on the Brisbane Insect website, but the prey you have indicated, the Pod Sucking Bug, is not recognizable in your photo. We did locate images of the Pod Sucking Bug, Riptortus serripes, on the Brisbane Insect website. You sent us another example of Kleptoparasitism with Freeloader Flies last year, and we did extensive research at that time on the phenomenon. These Freeloader Flies are in the family Milichiidae, and the Biology of Milichiidae page has this information: “Another very interesting feature of Milichiidae behavior is kleptoparasitism or commensalism. Species of several genera suck at the prey of spiders or predatory insects such as Reduviidae, Asilidae, Mantidae, or Odonata. Mostly they are attracted to predators feeding on stink bugs (Pentatomidae) or squash bugs (Coreidae) (Frost 1913, Robinson & Robinson 1977, Sivinski & Stowe 1980, Landau & Gaylor 1987). In almost all cases it is only the females that are kleptoparasitic. In some cases a close association between milichiid and predator has been postulated, because it was observed that the fly “rides” on the predator for some time, staying with the one predator rather than changing between different predators (Biró 1899, Robinson & Robinson 1977).” Irina Brake is the expert on this fascinating family.
Interestingly, in the past two days, we have received numerous beetle corrections from a Dr. Trevor J Hawkeswood of Australia, and we lamented that we have not had any recent submissions from you.