Spider and Wasp

On Thursday I spotted a little spider lurking with intent behind the edge of a leaf:

Green spider

I disturbed it enough to get a clearer photo and was then able to identify it as a female Diaea evanida, commonly known as the Flower Spider (more info here, on Arachne.org). They are ambush hunters and their colouring allows then to hide in flowers – but mine obviously reckoned that behind a leaf might be just as good.

Flower spider
Diaea evanida, exposed

On Friday I looked for it again and saw it on top of a leaf … near a wasp bee (see Comments). I grabbed a photo as quickly as I possibly could:

spider and wasp
Spider and wasp

My haste was vindicated a moment later as the spider pounced. Predator and prey together were instantly suspended beneath the leaf on a strand of silk, the wasp struggling but quickly losing any capacity to escape:

Spider and wasp suspended on silk
Spider and wasp suspended
Struggling feebly

As the wasp’s movements stilled, the spider pulled them both back to its leaf …

Spider and wasp on edge of leaf
Back to the top

… and then flipped them round behind the leaf, which is where I left them.

Spider and wasp behind leaf
A quiet spot to finish the meal

One thought on “Spider and Wasp”

  1. The more you learn, the more there is to learn …
    I posted a couple of these images on the Flickr group Field Guide to Insects of Australia and learned that my ‘wasp’ is not a wasp after all but a bee – Palaeorhiza (Cnemidorhiza) cf. parallela, Colletidae, Hylaeinae.
    The first bit of that is genus and species; ‘Colletidae’ is the family and ‘Hylaeinae’ is the sub-family. The species has no common name but Colletidae are known as ‘plasterer bees’ because of the way they line their cells. More on Wikipedia under Colletidae, here.

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