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Saturday, 30 October 2010

Witness to a murder

The weather has been very pleasant recently so I decided to take a walk up the hill at the back of my village. There I saw a big fat caterpillar happily feeding on a small tree.

Suddenly, two wasps were flying over to the tree. Within seconds, they started attacking the caterpillar, the head first and then the tail. 



The stings must have been really painful but the caterpillar was fighting very hard by shaking its head violently. 




The conflict  lasted for a couple of minutes and eventually the wasps gave up and flew away. The poor caterpillar was in agony but it didn’t look as though it was very badly injured.  

I was relieved for the caterpillar and thought it was its lucky day.

 
As I was about to leave the caterpillar to recover from its ordeal, suddenly, a huge hornet flew straight over. Before I even held my camera up, the caterpillar was in pieces! 



The hornet was so vicious that within seconds, the caterpillar’s insides were all over the place.




The hornet must have been very hungry and before I knew it, most of the caterpillar flesh was gone.


Then the hornet carefully folded up some of the remaining flesh and flew away with it. 



This was all left of the once big fat caterpillar. 

I guess there must be a hornets’ nest nearby. I thought about looking for it for a second but I remembered that I have read  somewhere that if under threat, hornets can mobilize the entire nest to sting. I left immediately.

10 comments:

Janny said...

Very beautiful photo's my compliments its Fantastic
Have a nice weekend
Regards Janny

Dena Rowlands said...

What an amazing thing to see! Fabulous account and images!

Tony nile life said...

excellent photos. it seems the wasps and hornet where in cohoots to you witnessing this murder most vile.

Barty said...

A great series images, they tell the story very well !

Chris said...

Wow that's very impressive and it looks like it is dangerous to be a caterpillar in your area ;-) Well you got a great sequence of images anyway and this nature we say ;-)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This is an absolutely brilliant series!! What luck to be able to capture it. I dont think there is anything more vicious than a hornet.

Zane said...

Exceptional series. I had the good fortune to see one wasp attack a worm. Managed to photograph a few parts of the action - was not easy - you did brilliantly.

JM said...

This is amazing! It's fantastic how you managed to capture the whole thing.

Carol said...

What an interesting series of pictures. I had thought at first they were going to use it to lay their eggs in. I think you made the right decision about not finding the nest.

birdy said...

Keen observations together with patient and good luck, result in such wonderful photographs.