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

A lucky escape

One of the great things about watching the wildlife in your own back yard is that you can observe individual creatures from one day (or month) to another. Wandering past my tough little spider’s web yesterday I saw that it had caught a little orange wasp.

Orange wasp caught in spider's web
Oops! This could be serious!

But had it?

No. As I watched (and took photos, of course), the wasp struggled free and flew up to a leaf above the web.

Orange wasp on macadamia leaf
Phew! That was close!