Blogpal Carol, who is in warmer, more tropical climes of SA than I am, recently posted some rather special photographs of a Flower Mantis hunting a honey bee. Pop over, to her spot. Flower Mantids are spectacular and they deserve a look.
Anyway, she made mention of the flies that were attracted to the kill and in our ensuing conversation I mentioned that these were likely Jackal Flies.
In the time I have been photographing the insects at our spot the only time these flies turn up to a Crab Spider kill is when the spider takes a honey bee, and they invariably turn up soon after the ambush has taken place.
I have a great many photographs of Crab Spiders taking other prey: from different species of bees to flies, hoverflies and I have one photo of a spider taking a butterfly( it is featured above). None of these other ”kills” seems to attract the Jackal Fly – not going by my photographic evidence at any rate.
I seem to recall reading somewhere that the honey gives off a specific chemical distress signal although I won’t swear by this. Something for any super sleuths out there.
Here are a few more photos of these flies.