The vermin only teaze and pinch
Their foes superior by an inch.
So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite ’em,
And so proceed ad infinitum.
Taken from “On Poetry: a Rhapsody“, Jonathon Swift (1733)
I was taken aback when I saw this robber fly on my hydrangea about to tuck into a smaller fly while he himself was being made a meal of by a red tick or mite on his side.
So what’s inside the mite – bacteria, ‘phages, viruses, prions? Mmm, first poetry, next philosophy, I think I prefer to keep to observation.
6 thoughts on “Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite them”
Eek! Brilliant buggy post. Super picture and the poem just caps it all off to perfection,
Great observation, and so the world of nature is full of attackers and foes, only man has as his greatest adversary other men! Christina
I love the photo! 🙂
Thank you. I am hoping to get a SLR soon to improve the quality of the photos.
This insect is a robber fly. The family Asilidae.
Thank you for the identification, I was not inferring that it was a flea in the literal sense more that it was an insect (like the flea) that is not held in high regard by humans. Are you an insect enthousiast?