Insect behavior

If you’ll excuse the poor sharpness in the following sequence, I’d like to share some food stealing behavior I observed and captured between two juvenile hemipterans (mesovelids, I believe).

I also witness the red dragonfly mating, so I can now identify the female.  After mating, the male took up a peculiar posture 10 cm above the female, and chased away other males as they approached (mate guarding).  He continued while she deposited eggs.  Soon, however, a rush of other males came in and the female took off.  The original male remained and defended the area, although I’m not quite sure why.  Further, the male also chased off all other dragonflies, including several individual dragonflies that were completely black, which I assume are another species.

Mesovelid stealing food sequence - 10.23.2009 - 09.10.34
The straw-like mouth parts of Bug 1 are being used to suck up juices from a food source (perhaps a dead insect) as Bug 2 comes in.

Mesovelid stealing food sequence - 10.23.2009 - 09.10.37
Bug 2 approaches Bug 1 from behind.

Mesovelid stealing food sequence - 10.23.2009 - 09.10.40
Bug 1 responds by kicking Bug 2 in the head.

Mesovelid stealing food sequence - 10.23.2009 - 09.10.44
Bug 2 moves to the side and front.

Mesovelid stealing food sequence - 10.23.2009 - 09.10.42
Bug 2 persistantly approaches.

Mesovelid stealing food sequence - 10.23.2009 - 09.10.48
Bug 1 retreats, leaving Bug 2 to feed on the food source.

Mesovelid stealing food sequence - 10.23.2009 - 09.10.50
Mmm, tasty.

Mesovelid stealing food sequence - 10.23.2009 - 09.11.02
For some perspective, this water lily leaf is the size of my palm and the red circle is Bug 2.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.