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Praying mantis catches and eats hummingbird

November 10, 2009

I saw this picture in the latest issue (Nov 2009) of National Geographic.

praying-mantis-catches-hummingbird-picture

Photo by Sharon Fullingim, published on National Geographic Your Shot

In the Nat Geo article they reference some more pics at BirdwatchersDigest.com of a mantis preying upon a hummingbird…

praying-mantis-catches-hummingbird-03                   praying-mantis-catches-hummingbird-2

It always warms my heart to see insects taking down vertebrates, except for the next picture, which makes me a little uneasy…

spider-eating-bird-01

This is a species of spider from the genus Nephila, commonly known as golden orbweaversThe spider shown above is supposedly from Australia, but there is also a species that is relatively common in Florida, Nephila clavipes

By the way, a couple of Entomologists recently described a new species of Nephila, N. komaci, which is the largest known species of web spinning spider currently in existence.  The official reference for their publication is “Kuntner M, Coddington JA, 2009 Discovery of the Largest Orbweaving Spider Species: The Evolution of Gigantism in Nephila. PLoS ONE 4(10): e7516. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007516.”  According to the paper, body length of the females can get up to 4 cm long.  I didn’t see anything about legspan, but according to Nat. Geo. this can be up to 12 cm for the females.  Unfortunately, this species is very rare and has only been found in certain parts of South Africa and Madagascar.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2009 2:17 pm

    That was mean.

    At first I was all, “awwwe, look at those lovely mantids doing what they do best…poor bird, but what wonderful insects…”

    Then…

    AAAAAK! Nightmares! Nightmares!!! I don’t know WHY an extra set of legs makes it awful but it DOES. *shudders* arachnids *shudders*

  2. June 2, 2011 9:39 pm

    Cool! But where even is the spider’s head????

    • corycampora permalink
      June 3, 2011 6:32 am

      Difficult to see the head because it is busy sucking up the juice out of the bird.

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