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Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Caterpillar and ant fight

If ever there was a tenacious creature, it would be the ant!! They will single handedly take on prey which is much bigger than themselves and end up wining too.
As you can see, there is no comparison between the two with weight and size.
I discovered this ant trying to drag the caterpillar to its nest about 4 feet away. What I found amazing also was the fact that no other ant from the nest came to help him.
How long the battle had been going on before then, I do not know, but I watched them on and off for about 40 minutes, and what a battle it was!!
The caterpillar was still very much alive and kept twisting this way and that to get away, but the ant would not let him go and kept on getting a grip on him on different parts of its body.
Eventually I could see the caterpillar was weakening as its movement were getting slower and when I came out to check again, they were gone. I can only think that it finally perished and the ant managed to get him inside.

34 comments:

Andrea said...

Beautiful serie.
One single ant is strong,but when they are altogether acting like a single being they seem really unvincible.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I understand if it were not for humans, ants would rule the world. They are certainly stronger than people by weight comparison. Great pics as always.

Tony nile life said...

Often watched these feats of strength.
amazes me how they dig through concrete. truly the strongest of creatures. have you seen the marching ants, now that is amazing,

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joan: Surprised no help came to assist with such a big job. Those ants can be persistent.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Andrea. It never ceases to amaze me what they are capable of. They are interesting insects to watch too so, when you have nothing better to do, go out and find some. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Diane. They sure would. I would hate to have them bigger than they already are as nothing would be safe.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

We have some that do that here Tony. Surprisingly enough, they also make a sound/call which is unusual for ants.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I was wondering about that too Tom. Guess they figured he was doing okay on his own. He definitely had the upper hand in this battle.

Gaelyn said...

Geez, I'm surprised those big ants at Kruger didn't try to drag the truck away, with us inside. They truly are amazing creatures. Yet surprising to see this one working alone.

Craver Vii said...

That's too bad for the poor little caterpillar, but it is fascinating to get up close and observe nature's epic struggle.

If the nearby ants were male, they were probably laughing and jibing as this one struggled, knowing that eventually he would overcome. It's a guy's way showing confidence... instead of saying, "I know you can do this."

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I do like your new avatar Gaelyn. I wonder where the picture was taken? :)

Yeah, those were really huge buggers!! Any bigger and they WOULD have dragged the truck away for sure.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It was an interesting struggle to watch Craver. I did feel sorry for the caterpillar and was really surprised he could not get away but the ant gave him no chance whatsoever.

I sometimes wonder if insects and animals do have thoughts like that or if they have the same instincts humans do?

JM said...

These look like science fiction movie scenes! Great captures!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Jose. This was very interesting to watch as I did not think the ant had a chance of winning in the begining.

Zane said...

Lovely looking worm - not my favourite photo subject as the worms face and mandibles are often quite horrific and slimy when viewed in macro mode. Ants are persistent when hungry.

Well documented Joan.

tony said...

treat yourself to my day on the marshland.
http://www.myegypt.co.uk/index.php?f=data_home&a=5

blog with no name said...

Some men think that they are the only ones that can get the job done, he probably told the rest of them to stay away...

于倫于名 said...

It's great!!..................................................

佩昭彥怡 said...

值得一看再看的格子,多謝分享........................................

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Lets face it Zane, we all have our pet hates and things we like less than others. My mother was terrified of worms but would take spider, snakes and anything else. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Tony, will do. Sounds like fun. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! One of those macho games hey Mike? I am glad I am a woman but they sometimes have their games too. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks 于倫于名

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome 佩昭彥怡

Mary said...

Ick...poor thing.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are right Mary. He put up a great battle too.

Sandy said...

Wow, great photos!! but eeoowww, a little ant could do that!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Sandy. Ants are amazing creatures and their strength is unbelievable.

Ann said...

You do great macros, and your are very good in looking for unusual photos opportunity.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Ann. The insect world is such a fascinating on, there is always something happing to photograph.

Rambling Woods said...

Wow..what a captured event. I wonder why no other ants came to help...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Me too but I guess they figured he could do it on his own. I wonder if the caterpillar started to get away if they would have joined the battle? Interesting. Thanks Michelle.

Anna said...

Boy those ants can be brutal!
Nice images Joan.
Anna :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Anna. A survival of the fittest again and ant will win hands down every time.