Penguin Droppings

By gen2

All the Gory Details

A tale of a Solitary bee/wasp . . .
(I'll look it up and let you know which later.)
. . . and a hoverfly (a male Melanostoma scalare)

Top: Diner + Dinner
Bottom-left: Capture
Bottom-right: Relish

I was back at the calcareous area this afternoon (where the wild carrot, Burnet Rose, Salad burnet and others grow)

There was a solitary bee/wasp nectaring on one of the wild carrot umbels. I was attempting to get a good close-up for ID purposes when a small hoverfly landed on the same head.

The bee/wasp ignored it, pretending to be a brother hoverfly. As they moved around the umbel, they inevitably came into close proximity and the bee/wasp made a sudden move towards the hoverfly and it flew off. "Lucky", I thought.

Now here is the bit I don't understand. Within 30 seconds, the hoverfly returned! Why? Was it suicidal? Had 'Dignitas' rejected it?

The charade was repeated, but this time the hoverfly was securely grabbed.


I thought the hoverfly would be paralysed and shipped off to a larder for the next generation to feed on, but no.

The hoverfly was quickly dispatched by means of decapitation. the eyes landing gently on a floret gazing emptily skywards. The bee/wasp then delved into the thorax and dined on the protein rich flight muscles. Once consumed, the remainder of the hapless insect was left for the wind to carry to its final resting place.

The bee/wasp then returned to nectaring (or was it the pollen it was after?) as if nothing had happened.

Photography was difficult because I don't have a special macro lens. I have to rely on my pocket compact on its 'Macro' setting for such close-ups. Problems today were caused by the wind as the camera constantly wanted to focus on the more static background rather than the waving-about foreground.

Here is a collage of the best bits.

The predation continues with me as the victim.
Lying in the grass getting those images has resulted in another batch of very scratchable sites on my body where the berry-bugs (harvest mites) are digesting even more of my skin. The things we put up with in the interest of a hobby.

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