MatthewGirling's picture

Wasp scavenging from a spider


Today I watched what I thought, at first, was a wasp stuck in a spider's web. On closer inspection I realised it was a wasp trying to remove a dead fly from the web and the spider was putting up a fight.

Soon the spider seemed to give up the fight and it scuttled away leaving the wasp to cut away the web with its mouth and release the dead fly. Then it flew off with it.

Is this usual behaviour? I have never seen it before. Also, I wondered if the spider has ever been seen to win the battle and eat the wasp?



Alan Thornhill's picture

I actually saw a wasp trying

I actually saw a wasp trying to steal an insect from an orb web today, but it didn't seem able to grasp the fly between its jaws while hanging lightly on the web, and after a few seconds flew off.

I've seen several Theridion webs recently with plenty of wasps in them (some theridiids weave the carcasses of their victims in to their retreats) - but I don't think that's what you mean.