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CHAIN OF FOOD (60)
cicindela Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1223 W: 0 N: 3103] (9226)
Hello my Friends!
Not so long ago I started to write something about robber flies - Asilidae (Diptera), their hunting strategies and different types of prey. Then I wrote that these flies can catch also relatively big insects, including members of Odonata order. And today I would like to proove it :>

This is Neoitamus cyanurus with a prey - a very fresh female of Platycnemis pennipes (Odonata: Platycnemidae). The some robber fly species but with another type of prey was presented by me several days ago here.

Here on the picture you can really see the kind of "chain of food", which includes three different groups of invertebrates. There are: the damselfly - a prey, the robber fly - a predator, and small, red creature presented on fly's abdomen - a parasitic mite. So there are "3 in 1" and a proof that none predator is the last predator ;>
Anyway, if you would like to see similar interaction but without "medial" species, please see here.

And now I would like to pay your attention for one more detail. As you can easy note, the prey is much bIgger that the predator. But please also note that the attack was just for the damselfly's thorax, and the fly's proboscis is placed just in the middle of this part of Odonata body. Why??? The answer is really simple. Thorax is the part of body in which the most important muscles in insects are placed (thanks to them the insect can fly or walk!), there are also very important parts of nervous system. So attack for the thorax allows to "paralize" the prey quick and successfully. Simply - the prey can not move and escape.

The photo was taken in the forest area in the Spala Nature Reserve, Spala Landscape Park, Central Poland.

Altered Image #1

cicindela Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1223 W: 0 N: 3103] (9226)
Light and noise.
Edited by:extramundi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1880 W: 338 N: 4268] (13178)

Used shadows&highlights to lower flash reflactions and neat image free for the noise in th BG.
Regards.