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aposematism 1

My second installment in the Predator & Prey series features two tiny predators the Black Widow Spider or Western Widow spider (Latrodectus Hesperus) and the Common Wasp or Yellow Jacket (Vespula vulgaris) both of which display aposematic coloration and are common to the backyards of the western United States. Aposematism is a strategy used by many species of plants and animals whereby they advertise their presence as a warning to predators of their unpalatable or dangerous nature. Aposematic warnings maybe in the form of sounds, odors, and often in the form of vivid coloration as displayed by our two combatants. Though the adult Yellow Jacket typically feeds on nectar and fruit, they also hunt prey to feed to their larvae and this one has stumbled into the lair of a dangerous adversary. Will the hunter become the hunted? There is a wealth of macro wildlife photos on flickr which I found quite inspiring not to mention my fellow Lego builders who have shouldered the difficult task of emulating arthropods with the brick over the years and recently with the Battlebugs theme.

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Taken on April 26, 2010