Monday, August 20, 2007

A harvestman eats a fly

We were in Ferry Beach State Park in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, on 11 August when I spied this tiny drama taking place. One of the kids present was fascinated and another couldn't care less. A harvestman (Order Opiliones) was sucking the juices out of a large fly.

Eventually it got nervous and dragged the fly to a lower leaf, where it continued feeding.

I returned an hour or so later, and the harvestman was finished its meal and was resting on a nearby leaf. (The conical structure beside its body may be a gall produced by a gall wasp - see comment for correct id.)


Anonymous said...

Just out of curiousity, how does a harvestman catch a fly?


Anonymous said...

And apologies for the spelling of curiosity. Early morning, etc.


Dave McLeod said...

The yellowish, conical gall on the Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) leaf beside the harvestman is the Witch-hazel Cone Gall formed by the aphid, Hormaphis hamamelidis. See: Plant Galls and Gall Makers (Felt, ca. 1940). A reprint was published by Updesh Purohit for Agrobios (India), Jodhpur, India in 2001.

Dave McLeod
October 24, 2007, 12:02 PM