Thursday 25 December 2014

A Phoenix fly trap: life or death struggle caught on camera

Published 05/05/2014 | 02:30

The white spider was hidden in a flower when it pounced on the fly – but the prey fought off its foe and lived to fight another day.
The translucent spider was lying in wait under this flower in the woods in the Phoenix Park Dublin yesterday. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Photographer Marc O'Sullivan captured the life-or-death struggle between two of nature's bitter enemies in minute detail.

You can almost see the fear in the eyes of the insect and its hairs stand on end as it realises it has fallen into a potentially deadly trap.

The eight-legged hunter was cunningly hiding beneath a flower in Phoenix Park when the fly alighted for a split second.

The white spider was well-hidden among the petals and in the blink of an eye the fly was wrapped up in its legs.

But following a brief tussle, the fly managed to zoom away and lived to fight another day. "It was actually my daughter that pointed to the flower and asked me what it was," Marc told the Irish Independent.

"I went over to inspect the flower and saw a fly perched on it. I quickly whipped out my camera and took a picture before it flew away."

And indeed Marc didn't notice the second subject matter of the photograph until he got home later that day.

"It was only when I uploaded the photograph onto my computer that evening I realised the fly had actually been perched on a large translucent spider," he said.

He then looked closely at more frames and realised that he had captured a brief moment of mortal combat.

Irish Independent

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