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Photo#571937
Flies attacking honeybee attacked by crab spider - Desmometopa

Flies attacking honeybee attacked by crab spider - Desmometopa
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
September 3, 2011
Size: 2 mm approximately
The photo shows a fly on the back of a honeybee being attacked by a crab spider, Misumena vatia, on Eupatorium serotinum off Martin Luther King Drive in Philadelphia. In other photos, the fly appears to be biting the honeybee. A second fly was located on the spider's head.

Images of this individual: tag all
Flies attacking honeybee attacked by crab spider - Desmometopa Flies attacking honeybee attacked by crab spider - Desmometopa Flies attacking honeybee attacked by crab spider - Desmometopa Flies attacking honeybee attacked by crab spider - Desmometopa Flies attacking honeybee attacked by crab spider - Desmometopa

Moved
Moved from Freeloader Flies.

Desmometopa
You can see a distinct, black "M" on the top of the head in a couple of the views. That's the easiest distinguishing character for Desmometopa among North American Milichiidae.

 
Desmometopa
Thanks for the diagnostic clue

Moved
Moved from Flies.

I can't give you a firm ID...
but the M.O. certainly fits the Family Milichiidae

 
Milichiidae
Thanks. I appreciate learning that the behavior fits the family Milichiidae.

 
Identification of the spider
The spider is Misumenoides formosipes, based on prominent white ridges above and below the front row of eyes. Misumena vatia lacks these ridges. (This distinction is mentioned on page 290 of W. Mike Howell and Ronald L. Jenkins, Spiders of the Eastern United States 2004. Pearson Education, Boston 362 pp)

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