Magazine article Natural History

What a Drag

Magazine article Natural History

What a Drag

Article excerpt

Photographer John Serrao was biking along a trail in a park in central Florida when he spotted this spider wasp, Poecilopompilus algidus, attempting to drag its prey, a tropical orb-weaving spider, Eriophora ravilla, up a wooden signpost. After the wasp struggled for about fifteen minutes without success, a brown anole, Anolis sagrei, suddenly ended the show when it darted out and attacked the wasp, which took off without its cargo. The anole immediately retreated without grabbing the spider, leaving the reason for its attack a mystery.

P. algidus spider wasps are picky eaters, preying almost exclusively on orb-weaving spiders, so called for their circular webs. This orbweaving species, E. ravilla, is strictly nocturnal, building its web at night and taking it down every morning. During the day it hides from diurnal predators, such as spider wasps, in a curled-up leaf or under a piece of bark. …

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