Friday, June 23, 2017

Australian Ravens batter spiders and bowl crickets

Ants? Not so much. Spiders? Yes, yes,yes.  Crickets? Rare treat! Closer look at Australian Ravens ripping into leaf nests this week (earlier post, June 18) came up with bad news for leaf-sac spiders.

Rough counts show 30-40 maturing spiders per nest. Some must escape as nest is pierced after being torn from tree and dropped or flown to road.

So local Australian Ravens (Torresian Crows too? Probably, but only ravens seen) continue to poke into road metal, digging safety-seeking spiders from under loose stones.

Much better than spiders must be biggish, juicy tree (Raspy?) cricket within its near-identical leaf nest, created for protection from dehydration or while moulting (up to 12 times).

Judging by ravens' behaviour and leaf litter left on road the birds don't or can't distinguish between spiders' and crickets' nests.

Rarity of definite cricket nests found prevents even the roughest of estimates of spider-cricket nest ratio.

And the ants? Live nests are so firmly anchored the ravens cannot hope to dislodge them. Perhaps their attacks on old, dead nests have another prey in mind? Questions, always questions.

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