Eating Its Own Kind? – Spidey Galore #2

June 8, 2010 at 7:00 am | Posted in itchy fingers | 1 Comment
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Spotted this pair and at first thought it was a red ant carrying another dead one. But on closer look, ahh…another ant-mimicking spider! And it was biting onto a red ant that it mimicks!


The one on top is the Ant-like Crab Spider (Amyciaea lineatipes). The victim
is the Kerengga or Weaver Ant (Oecophylla smaragdina). Notice there were
some tiny flies on the ant? Wonder if they were feeding on the ant before
the spider?


Like what its name suggests, the Ant-like Crab Spider mimics the ant by
moving in a jerky fashion and waving its two front legs in the air like an ant’s
antennae. The two black spots on its rear end look like the eyes of ants.
It has an unusually highly domed head, which also makes it look less like a spider


The Ant-like Crab Spider hunts and eats ants, specialising in the very
common Weaver Ants. On seeing an ant, it pounces on it. The ant soon
ceases its futile struggle when the venom takes effect


Crab Spiders move sideways, like crabs. The body is not as hairy as in most
spiders


It was rather interesting to see this crab spider moving and tossing
the ant around…Those tiny flies seemed to have disappeared…

Spiders have a narrow gut that can only cope with liquid food. Hence they practice external digestion – by pumping digestive enzymes and other digestive juices from the midgut into the prey and then suck up the soft tissues that are liquified and broken down by the juices; eventually leaving behind the empty husk of the prey. So I guess this Ant-like Crab Spider might be in the process of pumping his digestive juices in different parts of the ant’s body?

Also see related posts:
> Jaws – Spidey Galore #1
‘Leaf’ Me Alone
Masters of Disguise and Camouflage
A Visit to the Hospital
Attaining Immortality – Body Preservation

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1 Comment »

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  1. wah superb photos once again… idol!


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