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Legless on a Sunday afternoon

December 9, 2015

DSCN6041With the approach of the hot and sultry days of the festive season, being legless is a state to which some Australians aspire on a Sunday afternoon. But not if you are a spider, for this is the season of the Black Spider Wasps (Fabriogenia sp.) and they are hunting.

Currently you will see these medium-sized black wasps tapping surfaces with their bright orange antennae (pictured left) searching for spiders, the food source for young wasps. Once located, the spider is immobilised by the wasp’s sting. The legs of the spider are removed at the first joint to aid transport and entry into the nest entrance.

DSCN6076-001DSCN6058-001The wasp grasps the head of the spider (pictured above and right) with its mandibles and drags the paralysed body to the nest where eggs are laid on spider’s abdomen. The spider is sealed in the nest and remains alive until the eggs hatch and the wasp larvae start feeding.

This tale also featured earlier this year (click HERE to view) and macabre as it is, it is hard to look away.

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