Friday, August 31, 2007

Movie of a Cicada Killer Wasp Sphecius speciosus dragging its prey

I was wandering around the yard looking for things to photograph when out of a corner of my eye I saw something fall from a redbud tree. I could see something moving in the grass and I thought it might be a baby bird or small animal but it turned out to be a Cicada Killer with its prey, a newly killed cicada.

I took a few photos then remembered that the camera had a movie function so I quickly switched to movie mode and began filming. Luckily I set all the movie presets so I didn't have to fiddle around with the camera.

I previously posted photos of a dead Cicada Killer but this one was definitely alive and deadly. What drama played out on a small stage with two interested bystanders looking on!

I noticed that blogger now has a movie upload so I wanted to try it out and this is the perfect subject to do it with. Trouble is blogger only accepts certain movie files and the Panasonic camera I'm using uses the .mov codec which blogger doesn't accept so I had to search for a movie file converter. I previously tried to post a converted movie but received an error message so I hope it works this time. One other problem, with only a DSL connection the upload is taking a very long time. The movie is 76M in best mode and it's taking about a minute to do 1M. At this rate the upload will take more than an hour for a short 2-3 minute movie. I guess I should use a smaller resolution file next time. I will be royally P Oed if I get an error message.

2 Comments:

Blogger Carol said...

If you like cicada killers, you might enjoy this picture of one I took last summer, stinging its prey http://maydreamsgardens.blogspot.com/2006/08/violence-in-garden.html

I hope you get the movie to work out.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Wow, Carol, you actually caught it in the act of paralyzing the poor cicada! Great photo and information about the Cicada Killer wasp. It's quite amazing how large the wasp is but I guess it has to be large in order to drag around an insect as large as a cicada which must weigh at least four times more than itself.

I seem to up dealing with all sorts of wasps this summer. Some paper wasps were building a nest behind the seat of our swing/glider on the deck so we had to persuade them to move. Some ground dwelling wasps decided to build their nest next to the pond filter which I need to clean almost weekly and I unfortunately was stung earlier. I tried to clean the filter today but so many wasps were coming out of the hole and flying into me that quit the cleaning job. Trouble is I don't want to eradicate them because they are beneficial. Apparently they eat all sorts of harmful insects. After doing a search on how to eliminate them, I opted for the least harmful way to do it which is to soak the ground where the nest is. They hate water or being waterlogged so I'm hoping this treatment will encourage them to move.

I'm trying to upload the movie again. ;( Keep your fingers crossed.

Thanks for the comment and the link to your interesting post.

5:25 PM  

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