The Abelia seems to have a magical attraction for butterflies, bees, bumblebees, and other assorted insects, as well as a very, very strange moth that acts like a hummingbird (I will get a photo sooner or later). I've mentioned the tiger swallowtails before; out of the corner of my eye I saw something fluttering around the Abelia that wasn't a swallowtail and raced for the camera. While it hung around long enough to have its photo taken it wouldn't open its wings so this is the best I could do. It's enough to identify it as a silver spotted skipper, a small butterfly that I haven't seen much in my years in New Jersey.
While shooting the skipper, I noticed yet another tiger swallowtail, but this one was very different, still and lifeless. When I reached for it, I encountered a spider web and, indeed, the poor swallowtail was wrapped with webbing. You see, the Abelia not only attracts insects that come to feed on its nectar, it attracts insects that feed on those other insects. The swallowtail had apparently come out on the short end of an argument with the Abelia's resident spider. Here's what's left of the swallowtail:
And here, judging by the position of the web and the disposition of its occupant, is the culprit (WARNING: if you have arachnophobia, scroll no further down):