Sunday, July 10, 2016

Interesting Insects

 Had good luck finding interesting insects this weekend. The first one made observation of the day on iNaturalist. It is a robberfly eating a bee which I found about six feet from my back door:

 The second observation is even more interesting if it is what I think it is. As far as I can tell, this is a party of slave raiding ants stealing larva from a neighboring ant colony! These are odd species of ants which steal larva from a different species of ant, then make them act as workers for the colony.

According to AntWiki:
Only a few raids have been observed, but from unpublished observations by Les Greenberg (U. C. Riverside, pers. comm.) and Geoff Trager (then a student at UC Santa Barbara, pers. comm.), we know that the raids take place in early to mid summer, in the latter half of the afternoon.
 Which exactly matches the timing I found these.