ABOUT HUNTERS AND HUNTED ON THE FOLIAGE OF MY FIG TREES

in Fascinating Insects2 months ago

I spent some time last month, in between 7th and 12th June of the current year, usually early in the morning, observing what's going on around my fig trees ...

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... and I captured some scenes with insects and spiders that live their lives there, on the large juicy leaves.

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This is the Campyloneura virgula ...

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... a small predatory bug from the Miridae family, and on the following photograph ...

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... you can see the Homotoma ficus ...

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... another hemipteran insect, a sap - sucking species ...

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... that periodically appears on the underside of leaves.

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They feed on the large, very pronounced veins of the leaf ...

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... and you can often see the adults and larvae ...

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... forming orderly lines along the veins.

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Although the adults are brown, the freshly molted specimens have a vivid green coloration.

I didn't see many larvae this year, these days, so to illustrate this stage in the life of Homotoma ficus ...

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... I'm using an old post, published here on HIVE on 26th May 2020. This is one of the many photographs from that post, and here : https://ecency.com/hive-196387/@borjan/observing-the-life-of-homotoma-ficus ... is the link to the post, so you can see and read the entire thing :) if you wish.

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With this photograph, we are back in 2021 ...

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... the Campyloneura virgula has caught an adult Homotoma ficus ...

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... and now is enjoying its meal ...

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... just like the Homotoma ficus psyllid sucks the sap of the plant, the Campyloneura virgula bug sucks the body liquids from the dead insect ...

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... through the pretty long and sharp, needle - like proboscis.

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When she got enough, the bug flew away.

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On this, and the following couple of photographs ...

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... you can see a spider from the Philodromidae family, commonly known as running crab spiders. I can't tell you the exact species.

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Here, beside the Philodromidae, you can see blured in the background, a considerably smaller spider of a very different kind.

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These small spiders, probably from the Theridiidae (Comb-footed Spiders) or Linyphiidae (Line Weaving Spiders) family, build webs and nests parallel with the surface of the leaves, and you can see them resting in the space between the layer of silk and the leaf's surface.

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In the morning of 9th June 2021, I noticed a female of this species ...

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... with the cocoon nearby ...

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... and some hours later, in the afternoon ...

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... the minuscule spiderlings came out of the spherical shelter.

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I never photographed this situation before, it was a pretty cool scene ...

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... so I took quite a few shots because you never know when you'll have the same opportunity ... if ever again.

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The next day, when I revisited the same leaf, the female and the spiderlings were gone.

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It was a short but intense action :) because the weather was hot, and I had to be contorted under the leaves of the lower branches.

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Most of the time, the bigger Running crab spider was also present on the scene.

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Here you can see the Trioza alacris psyllid. A species that feeds and reproduces on the Laurus nobilis trees and shrubs that grow all around my backyard, but this one has landed on the nearby fig.

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This is the Megopthalmus scabripennis leafhopper ... a species that jumps all around my yard and garden. On this shot, the minuscule insect landed on the fig leaf.

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Many flies can be seen on the twigs, leafs and fruits of the fig tree, and the Icius hamatus humping spider on these last few photographs, has just caught one.

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As always in these posts on HIVE, all the photographs, old ones and new ones - are my work.

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@tipu curate :)

"When she got enough, the bug flew away."

Is there a scavenger species that will come along and clean up the shell of an insect that is left behind?

Whenever I read one of you life-and-death blogs I'm reminded of how brutal nature is (and we are part of that brutality).

Great shots, as always.

Thanks :) Yes, something will eat and dissolve the rest for sure, although I don't know exactly what in this case ... maybe some ants will pass by.

The life on the fig leaf is interesting ;))

Easy pickings for the jumping spider.

Omg 😱, these tiny creatures are intimating and fascinating. Many of these I am seeing for first time, thanks for that. How you do that mate, that clarity and perfection, its mind blowing 👍😊


Posted via proofofbrain.io

I have three important things at my disposal. :) Some good snap - on macro lens, a solid camera and a lot of patience. :) And there is a lot going on in this macro - world in this warm part of the year, many species are active and easy to find.

Finding the little spiders must have been so cool!

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