Ambulance hunters

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Crocodile in the murky water while stalking
A mutable crab spider disguised as part of a flower lurks for a fly

In biology, carnivorous animals or plants that lurk more or less in one place for prey are referred to as ambulance hunters , more rarely also as hide hunters . If the camouflage is achieved by imitating inanimate objects or harmless organisms, one speaks of mimesis . The success of the stalking hunt is essentially based on the surprising overpowering of the prey.

Some predators use chase as well as ambush ; Provided there is a sufficiently high number of prey, the advantage of ambush hunting lies in the lower energy consumption.


Ambush hunters can be found among the mollusks , arthropods , vertebrates and other groups of animals. Some examples:

  • Mammals: cats that hunt individually are predominantly categorized as ambulance hunters. On the other hand, cats and dogs hunting in packs are more likely to be hunters .
  • Birds:
    A Jule as an artificial seat guard for birds of prey to facilitate hunting
    The term "hide hunter" is mostly used for birds. The attack comes from a seat guard , for example the branches of a tree. Examples are kingfishers , hawks and kestrels , which, in addition to high-seat hunting, also use
    aerial hunting , which, however, is quite exhausting due to the shaking flight used .
  • Reptiles: Chameleons , snapping turtles and crocodiles are stalkers, crocodiles, depending on the circumstances, also hunters.
  • Bone fish: Frogfish are an example of ambulance hunters who use a lure method.
  • There are also lurker hunters among the crustaceans , such as the mantis shrimp .
  • Arachnids: Many hunting techniques have been developed by arachnids , including various stalking methods: trapdoor spiders and articulated spiders lurk in their living tubes for contact signals from their alarm and trip threads. Wallpaper spiders build a well-camouflaged catch hose and lurk in their living tube. Funnel spiders lurk for prey in a ground funnel lined with silk. Crab spiders or jumping spiders do not use spun tools in their stalking hunt.
  • Insects: Juvenile ant lions lurk for prey like ants in a sand funnel they have dug themselves. Terrors are diurnal ambulance hunters.
  • Many beetle snails are also predatory hunters.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Lauerjäger  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Colin R. Townsend, Michael Begon, John L. Harper: Ecology (=  Springer textbook ). 1st edition. Springer, 2003, ISBN 978-3-662-09048-0 , ISSN  0937-7433 , p. 329 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-662-09048-0 (English: Essentials of Ecology . 2002. Translated by Thomas S. Hoffmeister, Johannes Steidle, Frank Thomas).
  2. ^ Matthias Schaefer: Dictionary of Ecology . 5th revised and expanded edition. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8274-2562-1 , p. 136, 156 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  3. Colin R. Townsend, Michael Begon, John L. Harper: Ecology . 2nd Edition. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-662-44077-3 , pp. 270 f., 294 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-662-44078-0 ( limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed on October 19, 2019] English: Essentials of Ecology . Oxford 2008.).
  4. Kappeler
  5. Wassmann