Fight to the death

Posted: March 5, 2012 by Ben Weber in English
Tags: , , , , , , ,

During our walk yesterday, by chance we witnessed a fight to the death between a spider a bit smaller than the palm of my hand and a wasp (the Portuguese name is “Vespa”, and as you can see from the video, this is larger, darker and much more dangerous-looking than wasps we think of back in England!).

At first we thought that it was the spider that was hunting the wasp – after all, it was considerably larger than it. We thought that the Vespa was being almost Roman in that the best form of defence was attack as it was being quite aggressive as well. But then, we remembered that the Vespa could fly away quite easily if it wanted to, it dawned that it was actually the hunter.

This was reinforced by a guy who joined us in watching the battle, who described how the Vespa hunted spiders and that its sting contained a venom which paralyzed the creature. Once the paralysis took effect, the Vespa would then inject its eggs into the spider, where eventually larvae would hatch and consume it from the inside. Not a nice thought, even for me and am not a big fan of spiders.

Though the world we were looking at was considerably smaller than our own and not as glamorous as say that of big cats, it was still impressive though at the same time a bit disturbing watching this duel and seeing nature at its toughest and cruelest.


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