Saturday, June 21, 2008

Predation of Cicadas

After seeing so many cicadas appear over the last few weeks I was wondering if they had any predators since they only show up every 17 years or so. At first I did not see any evidence of anything attacking them but ants removing their dead bodies.

This week now that they have pretty much disappeared I have seen a small number of instances of them being eaten by other creatures.

Here is the only picture I caught of it happening in the act. A black jumping spider has captured one. I assumed it was alive when it was caught since it eyes are still red. The cicadas eyes turn dark once they are dead.

From a distance, I saw a red cardinal bird pecking at cicada. Later when I got my camera and investigated I found it was not completely dead but most of its abdomen was gone.

Here is an example of ants removing the pieces of cicada. Every so often I would see that the ants were taking apart a live cicada but only rarely.

The oddest encounter was a chipmunk that ran up to the porch and then picked up a dead cicada and started to eat parts of it or at least take it apart. I guess chipmunks can be carnivores.

Here is another cicada that the same cardinal mentioned earlier decided to eat part of.

Last, this cicada became victim to the air conditioner compressor.

No comments: