Mysterious Bug Predator Identification Help

Hi, a strange occurrence had happened twice in my yard. At first I saw a Wandering Glider dead on my yard, decapitated, without head. Here is the pict.

This was around november last year so I think it might have died somewhere and somehow flutters into my yard. But then this morning, I saw a Tailed Jay. It was still alive and intact last night but now it is dead, again… head missing. Here is the pict again.

My dad suspect that a gecko did this but I don’t think any gecko will left their prey’s headless body. On a side note, I did find a molt/husk of a mantis way back months ago.
So is anyone here know what the culprit might be ? Any clue are appreciated. Thanks.

I recall reading that male dragonflies can bite when subduing the mate. Perhaps your headless dragonfly is a more extreme example of that.

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Insecta also can lose heads if they crash into something.


I once saw a wasp (Vespula germanica) grab a dragonfly and drag it around, the dragonfly was already dead at the time though. Then the wasp used its mandibles to cut off the dragonfly’s head. Maybe it was a wasp in your case, too? It may have been scared off by something and didn’t return to its prey for that reason.


Could be… but what about the butterfly ? It’s just baffling that the butterfly suddenly lose it’s head.

Could be, but for both case I don’t see the head anywhere near their body.

I don’t recon seeing a wasp near my area. The only similar thing to that I’ve seen around are honey bees and carpenter bees.

The head is the most palatable part of dragonflies and butterflies. A great number of predators may eat only the head on both, including ones already mentioned. Wasps, other dragonflies, mantids, some birds, etc.

Additionally, dragonflies will prey on other species of dragonflies, often eating only the head.

Vespula are also known to be voracious predators of lepidopterans, both caterpillars and adults. Here is one I discovered eating the head off a still-living White-dotted Prominent.


Thank you for the enlightenment on the subject. :smile: :smile:
I’ll put dragonflies and mantids on my top suspect list.
As for yellowjackets, I doubt they are present in my area (I’m in Indonesia btw). I did check for that specific genus in iNaturalist and no one in my country seems to have recorded seeing it.

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There’re enough of different vespids in any part of the world free of ice.


Not limited to insecta, of course. A talk with highway patrol folks in moose country here should confirm that.

I’ve also heard that large moose bulls are surprisingly vulnerable to head attacks as there is such a heavy pre-existing strain on their musculature. Grizzly details, indeed.

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I don’t quite know whether to put this here or not but… I just found another bug dead without a head again. This time a cockroach. Although I kind of doubt it was killed by the same predator due to the fact that I found it much later in the morning than the other two, which was at around dawn.

Don’t know if this information will help but, I hope it does.

Saw this too with my beetles

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The Muffin-top Predator strikes again.

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Sorry, I didn’t really catch that.
Do you mean you saw your beetle doing it or something cut your beetle’s head ?

Hahahaha :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
I love that nickname. Very inspiring.

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