Drama of Life and Death...near Ranganathittu, 16 July 07
I went to Ranganathittu area to do some birding and while I did have a lovely time, with all the usual birds on display, I also watched this little drama of life and death nearby….
On one of the weeds, I watched a butterfly alight on a flower. But inexplicably, almost as soon as it landed on the flower, the butterfly seemed suddenly to wilt…you can see it just hanging off the flower:
It then fell off altogether, and lay, dead or dying, on a leaf below. Intrigued, I decided to investigate. I gently held the flower to see what could have caused the death of the butterfly, which you can see lying (by now dead) on the leaf below:
All was revealed…from under the flower crawled the hunter, the predator, which had been lying in wait for just such an opportunity as the one that happened…
This is a
CRAB SPIDER (to read Karthik’s post, click on the capitals)
As soon as the butterfly landed, the spider bit it, and paralyzed the butterfly fatally. Even as I looked at it, it dropped off on to the leaf below to proceed to the meal:
Here’s a close-up of the predator..incredible, I could swear that was a “happy” face on the back of the spider!
I thought it was ironic to see a happy smiley face on the back of a creature which had just dealt a violent death to another…but on second thought, it was just a living creature getting a meal for itself, so I suppose, now that the meal was ready, a smiley wasn’t an inappropriate thing for the spider to have, as it went off for its lunch….