The Stand Off
While photographing wildflowers I noticed yellow spiders hiding among the foliage. I believe they are in the crab spider family. They seemed to be waiting for prey to come by. That was, in fact, the case. (See some of my previous posts.)
I’d been photographing these yellow spiders on purple thistles. Then I noticed a similar spider on a yellow flower. While I was taking his picture, a soldier beetle landed on the flower. I wondered what would happen.
After taking a few photos, I decided to switch to taking video. I remembered nature films I’d seen where an alligator snatches an unsuspecting antelope that stopped for a drink. I thought this, on a decidedly smaller scale, might provide the same kind of drama.
I only got a short, six seconds of video. It looked like the solider beetle bumped into the spider and then flew off. Not too dramatic. However, when I slowed the video down, it turns out it was a much closer call than I originally thought.
Watch the video below and pay particular attention to the slow motion footage. When slowed down, you can see the spider actually grabs the leg of the soldier beetle in its jaws. The beetle is able to pull away before the spider can get a better hold. The best way to view it is to click the full-screen icon in the lower right corner of the video box.
Click on the photo at the top to see a lager version.