Monday, 6 May 2013

Anoplius viaticus

Spotted an Anoplius viaticus female at Cooper's Hill starting to dig a hole, right in the middle of the path which may not have been the best choice of location, but I knew that she must have an immobilized spider victim somewhere nearby. The initial digging took twenty-two minutes then finally off she went down the path, about 3 metres, where the spider was sitting in full sight. Some spider hunters hide their prey from rivals while they dig their hole, but not this one. The main problem though was that it was uphill from there to the hole she'd dug, and it was loose sand all the way. Natural selection should have meant she'd have died of exhaustion trying to drag it all that way, so, being a softie, I assisted by pushing at the rear with a heather twig while she pulled on a leg at the front. Thirty-two minutes later we finally had the spider in the hole, and did I get any thanks for helping...?

At one point, sadly while I was some distance away, hence no pictures, a Green Tiger Beetle ran over to the wasp and attacked her. I wondered who would win and the answer came quickly as the GTB quickly dashed away. I wonder if it was stung and now lies paralyzed somewhere?

Not sure if I've got the colour balance right as I had to do a lot of fiddling back at base. Must check my camera for a beach setting...!

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