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This Bites [Sep. 2nd, 2011|06:14 pm]
Early this morning I observed a rather grim insect drama. In the garage I heard a buzzing sound near the laundry appliances. I thought it might be something wrong with the timer on the washer or dryer, but the sound was coming from the area between the washer and the wall. On inspection, I saw that three daddy long-legs arachnids (technically they are not spiders) had taken up residence in the space, and one of them was dealing with a fly which had been snared by its web. It looked like the fly was about to be envenomed, and it was buzzing furiously.

As I watched, the fly suddenly came loose from the arachnid's web, but it didn't fly away. Instead, it dropped straight down and was caught in a lower web, and hung there a mere quarter inch from another daddy long-legs, even bigger than the one it had just escaped. I didn't watch any more of the drama, but when I returned a few minutes later the fly was still and the buzzing had stopped. I don't know if the spider had finished sucking the juices from the husk, or if the fly was in a venom-induced stupor, but either way it wasn't going anywhere.

I felt a bit bad for the fly, but happy for the arachnid who caught it, and a bit sad for the other daddy long-legs who had lost its prey. I also felt grateful to the arachnid for catching a fly that might otherwise have gotten into the house and driven me crazy with its buzzing for several days. And of course I don't know that I should feel bad for the fly. Never having been a fly, I don't know exactly what its feelings were about being caught and eaten.

Maybe daddy long-legs venom is a great high for a fly. Maybe it died having a delightful venom-induced fly fantasy about finding the biggest, tastiest turd ever. Maybe preventing a fly from being caught in an arachnid's web would not only be depriving the arachnid of sustenance, but being a total narc to the fly. I suppose nature is best left alone, and human sympathy pointless when given to insects. Or maybe I should save my sympathy for the countless mosquitoes I've mercilessly squashed and flies I've swatted. For all I know, they might have preferred death at an arachnid's hands chelicerae.