Friday 3 July 2015

Predator v. Prey

In my experience interesting wildlife and nature photographs are rarely handed to you on a plate. Instead they often require early alarm calls, lots of patience and a certain amount of discomfort in the form of traipsing through undergrowth or lying on your stomach in fields. However, just occasionally things work out a little differently.

One day last week I happened to be sitting on the floor in my house when what looked like a fly fell onto the carpet in front of me. Closer inspection revealed it to be two small flies and I initially assumed they were mating. However it soon became clear that actually one fly was attacking the other. My macro set-up is never too far away so I quickly grabbed it and managed a few photos of the tussle between the two flies.


Predator v. Prey (Canon 7D with MP-E 65mm macro lens and
diffused MT-24 flash, f13, 1/160, ISO 100)

The above image shows the predator on the left biting into the other fly's 'neck' and inserting its feeding tube. It then effectively sucked the insides out of the fly for a minute or two before flying off and leaving the now hollow fly behind.

I've seen flies attacking and eating other flies many times before but normally the predator is noticeably larger than the prey. What strikes me as interesting in this image is that, if anything, the predator was slightly smaller than the prey.

For those interested in identification, the fly on the left has been identified as Coenosia species while the unfortunate victim is another Muscid fly of some sort.

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