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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/small bees poaching gnats from spider web


I saw several small flying insects, maybe bees, flying under a horizontal spider web and landing on small bugs that had been trapped in the web.  The "bees" were less than an eighth of an inch long, and they were able to land on the captured prey from beneath without getting caught in the web.  They appeared to be dining on the prey, and stayed from a few seconds to a minute and then flew off.  I've never heard of insects poaching from a spider, and it sounds like a dangerous way to make a living.  Are there many species that do this?  Do they limit their activity to horizontal webs, where they can come in from below and depend on gravity to hold them away from the web while they are dining?  Thank you very much for any light you can shed on this.

Hi David
Withiut seeing one of these bugs I cannot tell you whether or not they were bees. But insects robbing spiders of there prey is not unusual. Birds also do this. All webs are not sticky. The parts that resemble the spokes of a wheel are not. Thes eare the ones that a spider walks on

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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