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Luring in Prey

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Captain Jack Aubrey: A nautical phasmid, Doctor. At least, to a hungry eye, if one has an appetite for whalers. I intend to take a greater interest in the bounty of nature from now on. I had no idea that a study of nature could advance the art of naval warfare.
Dr. Stephen Maturin: Oh, I see.
Jack: Now to pull this predator in close and spring our trap.
Stephen: Jack?
Jack: Yes?
Stephen: You're the predator.

Not all monsters are active in tracking or chasing down prey; some would much rather that their victims come to them. The trouble with being an ambush predator, however, is that you need to find some way to guarantee that food will actually come in your direction, or else starve in your little secret hidey-hole. As such, some monsters come with all sorts of clever tricks, sometimes very elaborate ones, to trick their victims into walking right into their open jaws.

The more sedate examples of this trope are usually based fairly directly on animals that use this strategy in real-life. Anglerfish, with their glowing or food-shaped lures, are among the more common inspirations; other beasts may draw from such examples as the alligator snapping turtle's worm-shaped tongue or the spider-tailed horned viper's arthropod-like tail tip. More elaborate examples can get very baroque in the complexity of their lures; some, rather than just having general resemblances to something desirable, may have extremely realistic mockups of people, food stands, treasure chests, lottery tickets, or similarly specific things growing from their appendages, sometimes even capable of independent speech and movement. In some cases, this may be justified by giving the monster the ability to determine what its prospective targets most value and mould its lure accordingly, or else to have evolved alongside intelligent beings for long enough to have developed some very specific hunting adaptations.

Another common angle is for these beasts to have some form of psychic powers or otherwise supernatural ability to compel behavior in others. This may be used to enhance a physical bait, such as by using a Glamour to make it look more compelling, or else to directly place a strong compulsion in a victim's mind. In a similarly supernatural manner, a Voice Changeling might imitate someone's voice to lure in unsuspecting victims, especially if the voice belongs to someone the victim knows.

Subtropes include:

  • Alluring Flowers: These often use extremely attractive, sometimes supernaturally so, scents to draw in unsuspecting victims.
  • Chest Monster: Creature that disguise themselves as valuable loot in order to eat unwary treasure-hunters.
  • Literal Maneater: A female character who is The Vamp or a Femme Fatale and uses her good looks to attract men to eat.
  • Siren Song: Supernatural beings that use their beautiful voices to draw people to their doom.
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp: Floating lights that lure travelers into dangerous situations, often to feed on them in some manner.

Compare Compelling Voice; Decoy Damsel, where a character pretends to be helpless or in distress; and Wounded Gazelle Gambit, where one pretends to be a victim to manipulate others.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: One of the earliest enemies is a hollow nicknamed "Grand Fisher" — he has a monstrous body that can hide very well and a long feeler that can take human shape to serve as bait.
  • The h-manga Mating with Oni discusses this trope, though it averts it. The story revolves around a young man named Soichiro who moves back to his grandparents' hometown from the city after his parents died. While playing with a young oni girl named Momiji she invites him over to her house to play another game, while her mother, Kaede helps the town by scaring away the wild boars that have been eating the crops. When Kaede returns home, she finds Soichiro tied down and asking Momiji to play something else since he doesn't get that game, and Kaeded makes the assumption that Momiji lured Soichiro back to their house to kill him and eat him. Although Kaede's willing to cook Soichiro, she disapproves of it because they could be run out of town. However, Momiji clarifies that she actually lured Soichiro into their house because she likes him, and when Soichiro innocently says he likes her too, Kaede says she's happy to hear that because oni tradition states that when an oni falls in love with a human, that human is to be abducted and forced into marriage. Socihiro tries to resist, but eventually relents and gets married to Momiji, and soon after that, he takes Kaede as a wife as well.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: One demon that the characters must defeat uses a little girl lure acting as a Damsel in Distress to draw victims toward a huge, hungry wolf-demon. Although the two can act independently, they are physically attached to each other by a long umbilical. Just before the demon perishes by exploding, the two ends comment that they share a common voice actor.

    Comic Books 
  • Monica's Gang: In one Bubbly story, the space adventurer suddenly sees images from his family and love interest on Earth inviting him to stay with them, which he gets out of his ship to investigate. As he draws near, however, the computer of his spaceship uses a robotic arm to quickly drag him back, revealing that the images that the astronaut had been seeing were nothing more than illusions created by a gigantic anglerfish-like creature from the depths of space that used what passing travellers wish the most as a lure to get them as its prey.
  • Trolls de Troy: One monster encountered by the Tetram and Waha is a swamp-dwelling beast whose lure is part of its back and shaped like a female dragon, luring male dragons to mate with it and be eaten. It's defeated after Tetram manages to twist its eyes around so it sees the lure and promptly attacks itself.
  • Venomverse: The Poisons are a race of parasites who target beings who are bonded to Klyntar, latching onto and taking them over. They can create illusions of their intended victim's loved ones in order to draw them in closer.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side: One cartoon has a man peering into an alley at a giant set of jaws with a tongue shaped like a beer bottle.

    Fan Works 
  • I Woke Up As a Dungeon, Now What?: This is the intended function of a dungeon's ability to spawn treasure chests or other forms of loot. The bits of loot that defeated monsters can drop also serve a similar function to a lesser degree.
  • Triptych Continuum: One of the dangerous plants mentioned in Triptych Continuum In Convenience is the root angler, which keeps its body except for a food-shaped tentacle below the ground, waiting for someone hungry to wander along. It's noted that root angler lure is edible, and for obvious reasons is one of the most expensive foodstuffs in Equestria.

    Films — Animation 
  • Bambi II has an especially creepy version as the monster in question is Man: Bambi is drawn to what he hears to be the sound of his dead mother's voice, but it's not until he steps out of the forest that he realizes it's from humans using what the audience can recognize as a deer call, ready to sic their guns and hunting dogs on him.
  • Finding Nemo: While chasing after the diver's mask, Marlin and Dory dive deeper and deeper into the sea until it's so dark that they can hardly see. They are then attracted by a small glowing orb which turns out to be an anglerfish's lure, used to distract prey. Both interact with it and Marlin is eventually snapped up by the fish, but holds onto the lure so tightly that the fish can't swallow him and she eventually spits him out.
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: As they journey out from Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob and Patrick come across a rather incongruous ice cream stand owned by a sweet little old lady. It eventually turns out to be the elaborate lure of a gigantic frogfish that uses it to trick people into walking into its mouth.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Annihilation (2018): A bear mutated by the Shimmer's effects gains the ability to mimic the voices of those that it's eaten. After eating Cass, it imitates her voice, luring Anya into running for her teammate and then getting attacked.
  • Erik the Viking: In one scene, the Vikings see a glowing, swaying globe that they think is the sun (which they've never seen because Fenrir the wolf swallowed it). It turns out that what they're actually looking at is an anglerfish-type lure attached to the great Dragon of the North Sea.
  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World: In a non-monstrous example, Captain Aubrey has the Surprise repainted to look like a whaling vessel to lure the French privateer Acheron he's been hunting into coming in close so he can surprise and capture it. He calls this a "nautical phasmid", comparing it to a stick insect he was shown by Dr. Maturin earlier, which mimics a twig to evade its predators. Stephen replies that it's not quite the same: Jack is playing the role of predator here.
  • Outlander (2008): The moorwen hides in the darkness of the woods while flourishing the lights on its tail and skin to attract prey. When it goes red, somebody's dead.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-1000 reshapes itself into a duplicate of Sarah Connor, aiming to lure John Connor within striking range. Fortunately, the real Sarah Connor calls to John from behind him, and John sees two Sarahs. He quickly assesses both and deduces that the more sweaty and haggard Sarah is the real one. The fake observes that its ruse has failed, and returns to its default shape.

    Folklore and Mythology 
  • Some medieval bestiaries describe the Crocotta, described as a cross between a dog and a wolf or a lion and a hyena that can imitate human voices. It uses this to lure vulnerable travelers off the path and into the forest where the Crocotta can devour them.
  • The Panther was said to have the ability to lure any animals it wanted to eat before it by roaring and producing really sweet-smelling breath that drew them towards its mouth. The only animal this didn't work on is the dragon.

  • Book of the Dead (2021): Yor the vampire has deliberately sculpted her body to be inhumanly beautiful, but it turns out she's anatomically incapable of sexual activity. The point of her appearance is just to help her attract dinner. After seeing her, Dove is inclined to think it would be worth it.
  • Known Space: Female Grogs are sessile as adults — as they exit adolescence, they find a likely-looking rock, anchor themselves to it, and mature into eyeless, legless, limpet-like adults. They hunt by using their powerful telepathy to compel animals into walking close enough to be eaten. The males, non-sapient doglike animals, hunt in the more traditional way.
  • KonoSuba: There's a plant that lures prey in by mimicking a small, helpless child, then convincing them to stay there until they die.
  • Sixth of the Dusk: As some of the creatures on the island of Patji have some level of psychic ability and are extremely predatory and territorial, the blossoms of Patji's Fingers (a type of tree) have the ability to mimic the mind of an injured or fearful animal, which draws those psychic predators nearby. The predators then attack and kill one another over who gets to hunt the supposed prey, and their corpses then fertilize the trees.
  • The Twilight Saga: When revealing that he sparkles in sunlight, Edward explains to Bella that the sparkling is meant to entice humans to come closer so that vampires can eat them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Red Dwarf: The Psirens are a form of GELF that alter the perceptions of their victims to generate illusions and as a form of luring in prey, at which point their brains are sucked out. It's shown off in their titular episode, where they generate the illusion of a flaming meteor and then a radar readout to get the Dwarfers to crash into their territory, then disguise themselves as beings such as Kochanski and two female temptresses to get them to leave Starbug and get within their range.
  • Ultraman Leo: The Flying Saucer Creature Hangler is an angler-like kaiju that hides underground with only its lure and mouth sticking out, which are disguised as a traffic light and a tunnel to lure unsuspecting drivers into its maw. If that doesn't work, it resorts to its Vacuum Mouth.

Tom Lehrer's "The Hunting Song" describes a surefire way of doing this:
People ask me how I do it.
And I say, "There's nothing to it!
You just stand there looking cute.
And when something moves—you shoot!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • A Dragon article of fan-submitted monsters includes a predatory fish-creature with a dorsal fin that, unfurled at the surface, resembles a drowning woman struggling in the waves: ready Schmuck Bait for a passing potential rescuer.
    • Belgoi from the Dark Sun setting are demihumans who craft bells from the bones of their own dead. The chiming of these bells collapses their target's mental defenses, allowing the belgoi to psionically compel their victim to walk into the wastes to be devoured.
    • Lantern sea serpents have anglerfish-like lures on their heads, which they use to produce the hypnotic pattern that lets them incapacitate prey.
    • A magran is a monster resembling a legless reptile native to the Ethereal Plane, with a glowing lure on a stalk like an anglerfish's. Its light is visible farther than it has any right to be in ethereal fog, and creatures that see it are entranced and thus become easy morsels; the critter itself can also turn invisible at will. What's fun is that this glowing lure can be harvested from a slain magran, and can be used to replicate a hypnotic pattern effect for a few weeks after the creature's death, with the caveat that it affects everyone around it, and the lure's wielder might grow obsessed with it, refusing to part with the thing.
    • The wolf-in-sheep's-clothing looks like a small fluffy rabbit-like creature, but that is only its lure. The monster's real body is disguised as a tree stump and lies in wait for prey that mistakes its lure for a potential friend or easy meal.
  • Exalted: One of the mini-comics in the sourcebooks depicts a Wyld-mutated anglerfish hunting humans using a lure shaped like a highly realistic, crying baby. Would-be rescuers remain firmly stuck to the lure and are promptly whipped into the monster's mouth.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The game has a Phyrexian Horror called "Tangle Angler". It's a biomechanical anglerfish mounted on many deformed, stiltlike legs, with the gameplay rule that any creature it targets must block it, symbolizing it being taken in by the angler's lure.
    • The Return to Innistrad block includes the card Grizzled Angler, which transforms into Grisly Anglerfish as a result of the Eldrazi titan Emrakul's Body Horror. The latter is an enormous, monstrous anglerfish with a living human head for a lure, and the rule that any enemy creature that can attack must attack.
    • The Khans of Tarkir block has unleashed another called "Gurmag Angler", a zombified version which lives in the swamps of the Sultai Brood and uses a fleshy lure shaped vaguely like a human being in order to eat the Sultai's zombie slaves that populate the area.
      If everything in the Gurmag Swamp hungers for human flesh, what bait could be more effective?
  • Numenera: Spiny schisans, eel-like predators found in the ocean depths, have a kite-shaped, red and yellow fin at the end of their tail. Through their low-level telepathy, they make it seem like something a viewer swears they recognize from somewhere. The resulting psychic call lures passersby in to investigate and stumble right into the schisan's mouth.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Ceratioidi are humanoid anglerfish. They can use the lure growing from their heads to mesmerize other creatures. Someone entranced by a ceratioidi's lure will stare at it in stupefied fascination, even if they were fighting its owner moments before until the ceratioidi actually attacks them.
    • A sea linnorm has a distinctive facial lure that it uses to lure sea animals to their doom; in game terms, it can cause any other creature to stand stupefied when the sea linnorm flashes it.
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • Orb Leviathans, introduced in Dreadfleet and expanded upon in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th ed., are whale-sized anglerfish with green lures. Slow and ungainly swimmers by nature, they hunt by waving their lures back and forth in front of their gaping mouths to lure prey into easy swallowing range. Their Lure of the Leviathan rule in Fantasy Roleplay allows them to stun anybody who looks at the glow of their lure passing by underwater.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Lurkerfish are anglerfish-like fish that live in shallow fresh and brackish water. They hunt by hiding in weeds and mud with their glowing lure sticking out, which they wave about to mesmerize prey into heading towards it. Their Lure of the Lurkerfish rule causes viewers unaware of their true nature and who fail a willpower check to be unable to take any action other than walk towards the bobbing, glowing light.

  • BIONICLE: The Oohnorak breed of Visorak insects can telepathically read their targets' minds and then imitate the voice of a person that the target valued to lure them into a trap.

    Video Games 
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Rival Nemeses mimic a dwarf calling for help to lure players towards them. While it's obviously fake (the calls lack the dwarves' accent and sound very digitalized), the fact that it's a Nemesis producing them is worrying enough.
  • Devil May Cry 4: Dagon and Bael's species can create darkness and disappear into it, only leaving their antennae/lures visible, which resemble beautiful, naked nymphs called Rusalka who play with each other to entice victims to get within swallowing range. Dante plays along with the Rusalka, but is not fooled by the trick, while Nero simply ignores their seduction and fights them afterwards.
  • Don't Starve: Depths worms are enormous subterranean predators who spend most of their time buried just underground, with only their stalked, luminescent berry-like lure visible in the darkness of the caves. When someone comes along to investigate, seeks shelter in the light, or tries to harvest the "berry", the depths worm bursts from the ground and attacks.
  • E.V.O.: Search for Eden: In the Cambrian stage, you can evolve to have an Angler Horn, which lures prey closer to you.
  • Fallout 4: Anglers from the "Far Harbor" DLC are mutants descended from anglerfish. They have lures on their heads that resemble the plant lure weed (which is useful to the player since its an ingredient needed to cook wolf meat into wolf ribs), and they like to hide in shallow water beneath patches of lure weed with their own lure above the water, springing up in ambush if the player approaches to harvest the weed.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location: The Funtime animatronics were all designed to lure and capture children for William's devious purposes. In his blueprints, Funtime Freddy is even listed to have a feature for "Voice Mimic / Luring" and is depicted with a child in his torso compartment.
  • Grandia: One boss is a giant fish with a generically pretty mermaid on a feeler as a lure. It tends to cast charm spells on the male main character.
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft: The minion Blackwater Behemoth spawns a Behemoth's Lure when played. The card art for the lure depicts a killer whale being drawn towards an anglerfish-style glowing lure, and its effect makes a random enemy minion attack the behemoth at the end of its turn.
  • Hollow Knight: Nosk the optional spider boss lures you toward its arena with a lookalike of your character that it wears as a mask. According to the Hunter's Journal and last thoughts of the corpses outside Nosk's lair, many of its victims thought they'd found long-deceased loved ones.
  • Monster Hunter 3 (Tri): The Gobul is an anglerfish-like monster that burrows itself into the soil and lures cow-sized herbivores in by disguising its catfish-like barbels as plants, and then it proceeds to swallow them whole with its enormous mouth (it will also casually inhale small schools of fish if they group around it). It also has a glowing lantern-like appendage, but this is just used to blind its enemies with bright flashes.
  • Outer Wilds: The anglerfish on Dark Bramble use light sources that look exactly like the ones of the warp nodes inside the planet to lure you and your ship towards them. You can use your scout to look ahead if you're heading for certain doom or not.
  • Paper Mario 64: The Big Lantern Ghost lures its prey into his dark realm by means of his bright light source — which actually turns out to be a live Lil'Spark who will join your party after the battle.
  • Pokémon:
    • Chinchou and its evolution Lanturn are anglerfish-like Pokémon with dorsal fins modified into glowing lures; Chinchou is mostly described as using its lures to communicate or produce electric attacks, but Lanturn is stated by the Pokédex to use its escas to lure prey and blind it before eating it. They also have the "Illuminate" ability, which doubles the likelihood of meeting wild Pokémon if they're in the first spot in your party.
    • Morelull and Shiinotic are mushroom-like 'mons that release clouds of glowing spores with which to lure in other creatures and send them into a deep sleep, after which the fungus drains their life energy. They can also have the "Illuminate" ability.
    • Tatsugiri is a Water/Dragon-type Pokémon that resembles sushi. They use themselves as lure to attract prey of their choice depending on their forms.
  • Shadowrun SNES: One encounter at the docks consists of Jake finding his ex-girlfriend Sandy, telling him she's sorry she broke up with him and asking him to come closer. As Jake approaches, "Sandy" transforms into a giant octopus and attacks him.
  • The Sims 2: The Cow Plant can lure unsuspecting Sims using a cake on its tongue. Anyone careless enough to grab the cake trap will get eaten, although, if the Sim in question has a low enough hygiene, the Cow Plant may spit them out instead of swallowing them.
  • Splatoon: In the Salmon Run mode, players can lure enemy bosses toward a basket so that, upon slaying said bosses, the eggs they drop can be quickly harvested (picked up and put into the basket). This does not always work, but works often enough to be one of the keys to getting the highest scores. The community calls this "luring".
  • Subnautica: The Mesmer is a species of fish that has tiny lenses on its fins, which it can angle to create mesmerising patterns that flood its prey's mind with enticing messages, drawing them towards it so it can eat them. If the player looks at one, they will hear it speaking to them in the voice of the PDA:
    "It is your primary directive to swim closer to that beautiful creature... Swim closer... Swim closer now... It looks so friendly... Do not resist... Don't struggle... Go closer"
    • In Subnautica: Below Zero, the Shadow Leviathan's maw glows faintly blue, and its PDA description posits that this glow mimics that of bioluminescent plankton, the better to attract filter-feeding prey.
  • Sunless Sea: One random event while out on the Unterzee has your ship encounter an elegant lady waving and sighing from a rock out at sea. If you head in to investigate — or send in someone who won't be missed, at your choice — it turns out to be the cunningly-shaped tail of a sea serpent trying to bait potential meals.
  • Terraria: The Lost Girl stands in darkened areas, waiting for the player to find her. She has the appearance of a naked woman and seems to be an NPC in need of rescue. If the player gets close, though, she transforms into the Nymph and attacks the player.
  • Until Dawn: Although they only actually try it once, the Wendigoes can mimic the voice of a victim. At one point one does so by mimicking Jess, who (depending on certain choices and how good the player is at quick time events), either went missing or died early in the game. If the player falls for it and opens a door between them and the voice, this can get two characters killed.
  • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: Invoked by one of the Dryad's (a female deer-centaur) Stop Poking Me! lines, where she uses a "human call" where she pretends to be drunk to attract the enemy.
    I'll attract the enemy with my human call. "I'm so wasted, I'm soooooo wasted!"

  • Goblins: Treasure plants are enormous Venus flytraps that grow buds resembling precious gemstones, created by a wizard who hated trespassers on their property. Fortunately, they only pose a threat to the dumbest of individuals... unfortunately, this includes Minmax.
  • Port Sherry: "Evolution" has a dragon using a princess-shaped lure on its tail to lure knights to their doom.
  • Selkie: The sarnothi farm a species of massive eel that can mimic voices and phrases they hear to lure in lost sarnothi.

    Web Original 
  • Codex Inversus: The female enchanting mantis hunts by using her forelegs to trace magical reactive glyphs in the air that cause other insects to be drawn towards them. Simple proximity to the incantation will only cause a target to subconsciously head in the mantis' direction, while seeing the incantation directly will compel prey to heads towards her and meekly await consumption. An abrupt stopping of the incantation will cause an opposite effect, which the mantises use to make larger creatures flinch away from them and give the insect an extra moment to escape.
  • Hamster's Paradise: The smooth cannibal is a species of the highly vocal lizard-like whistlards that mimics the calls of female whistlards of smaller species in order to draw males into striking range.
  • The Magnus Archives: The Anglerfish is a creature of the Stranger that turns the bodies of its former victims into "shells" that appear normal human (except for the eyes which are clearly fake) that it uses as lures. Its MO is to hide just out of sight (i.e. in a darkened alleyway or a dark basement), and its lure calls others to approach it so that they get close enough it can seize them.
  • Malevolent: In Episode 15, while in the Dreamlands, Arthur and The Entity/John find a map and decide to walk in the direction of a mysterious looking flower bulb. Once they get there, they find themselves standing in a pool of mysterious moss and Arthur hears a soothing voice and finds himself unable to move. As he stands there, John tries to snap him out of it, and the moss starts chewing on his pant legs. In the next episode, Arthur is able to snap out of it and they discover human remains stripped of flesh beneath the moss, implying that not only does the moss seem to use its influence to lure and trap its prey, but that Arthur is not the first human to find themselves trapped here.
  • "The Ocean's Cool Air" features a man stranded at sea in a lifeboat. When a ship sails by and spots the craft, the crew moves to rescue him—and that's when a massive sea monster destroys the larger ship and devours all the sailors. It turns out that the creature has been using the stranded man as bait to lure in its meals, and forces him to eat the leftover limbs of its victims to keep himself alive.
  • Pop Cross Studios: In "In the Depths of the Everyverse", whilst Tayrun and Kayla are exploring the caves of the titular dimension (a place where Overseers come to test out their creations before deciding if they're ready to be placed into their worlds), Kayla hears and sees what appears to be a drowning person in an underground lake, and, having her judgement negatively affected by sleep deprivation and exhaustion, goes to rescue them. Sadly, once she gets up close to the person, she finds out that they're actually a mannequin-shaped lure growing from the tail of an amphibious giant scorpion that immediately tries hauling her under the water to kill and eat her.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-647 is a living cardboard box whose preferred prey is homeless people desperate for shelter. The longer it goes without eating, the more elaborate its lure becomes, adding blankets, then canned food, and then liquor in its effort to lure its prey inside it.
    • SCP-939 is a species of red-skinned, lizard-like monsters that can imitate human voices, which they use to lure humans to eat.
    • SCP-968 ("Tar Baby") hunts humans by altering part of itself to mimic a baby or small child to lure in rescuers.
    • SCP-1305 ("Cat Lure") can create a lure that appears to be one of its past victims, such as a cat or a human being. It uses the lure to draw human beings close to it so it can attack and eat them.
    • SCP-2316 ("Class Trip") is a fenced-off lake with somewhere from around forty-five to two hundred corpses floating in the water. Viewers knowledgeable about the phenomenon’s properties or begin to recognize their faces, to the point that they drown while trying to retrieve the corpses, so the Foundation combats the effects with a mantra to remind yourself that you do not recognize the bodies in the water.But
    • SCP-5250 ("The Lake South, The Deer North") is a lake that eats an individual's sense of self, using a "deer" as bait with which to draw people's attention it, allowing it to feed on their minds.
  • Serina:
    • The kelpie, a carnivorous and intelligent thorngrazer, uses its voice mimicking abilities to lure in baby thorngrazers of other species by copying their mother's cries or vice versa so it can kill them with a crushing bite to the neck.
    • The springler, a descendant of the springheel, has adapted its ancestors ear tufts into lures it uses to catch fish. Sometimes a fish can damage their ears and bite off their lures, but due to tribbetheres being quick healers, they'll grow them back within a few weeks.
  • The Storage Papers: "Baby Cries" features a creature that resembles a bald pale young woman that the narrator remarks is only "clearly not human". It can mimic a baby's crying and uses this to lure its unsuspecting prey into the woods near its lair, each time the cries seeming ever so close until it's close enough for them to attack.
  • Trevor Henderson Siren Head is a forty-foot-tall Humanoid Abomination that can imitate voices and lure human victims to it.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama:
    • "The Deep South" includes a gag in which Zoidberg spots a delicious-looking worm that, when he chases it down to eat it, turns out to be the lure of a giant anglerfish.
    • "The Late Phillip J. Fry": In 351120 AD, Farnsworth, Bender, and Fry come across a merman who is in fact the lure of a giant shrimp-like sea monster.
  • The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello: The title character is exploring an uncharted island when he encounters what appears to be an exotic bird perched on a fallen tree. But as Jasper approaches the bird, the tree reveals itself to be a massive Planimal insect and the bird as one of its folded-up appendages, and it nearly devours him before one of his crewmates happens upon the scene and shoots it dead.

    Real Life 
  • Alligator snapping turtles hunt by lying still underwater, using their rough, often algae-covered scales and shells to hide within weedy, murky waters while extending their long, wormlike tongues and flicking them around in the water. Eventually, a fish or crustacean comes to investigate what seems like a tasty morsel floating about by itself, walks into the turtle's open beak, and is promptly eaten.
  • Anglerfish hunt using the highly extended, modified front spines of their dorsal fins, which end in small lures. In shallow-water species such as monkfish and frogfish, these are shaped like worms or bits of meat and flicked back and forth in front of the fish's mouth, while the rest of the body is drably colored or otherwise camouflaged. In deep-sea species such as footballfish, the lure instead glows to lure smaller animals into investigating it while the body is black to hide in the pitch darkness.
  • The Australian death adder has a small orange lure on the end of its tail that it wriggles to imitate a beetle larva in order to trick hungry lizards into coming after it.
  • Bolas spiders prey on moths by capturing them with strands of silk tipped with drops of glue and spun like flails. To hunt, the spiders find a twig with a good vantage point and produce a scent similar to that of female moths in heat, which draws male moths towards them and into lassoing range.
  • Since carnivorous plants can't really move, this is the only real way that they can find prey. Their traps have colourful markings and secrete sweet-smelling nectar to attract insects and other small animals.
  • Some female fireflies can copy the light patterns of other species and use this in order to lure in males for them to kill and eat.
  • The margay (a small jungle cat related to the ocelot) has been known to mimic the calls of a baby tamarin (a type of small South American monkey) in distress in order to lure an adult. There are also anecdotal reports of other cat species, like jaguars, tigers, and cougars, doing something similar.
  • Portia jumping spiders hunt other spiders and are very successful at it. One of their methods for attacking web-building spiders is to tap the web in a manner that imitates a trapped insect, or the vibrations of a male attempting to attract a female, in order to lure the web's owner close.
  • Spider-tailed horned vipers have horny tail tips with projecting spines that loosely resemble an arthropod. When hunting, the snake flicks and wiggles its tail tip to imitate a small crawling insect or spider, luring insect-eating creatures within biting range.
  • The green heron will often use bits of debris or food to lure fish to the surface. This behavior has been observed in other birds as well, but the green heron is especially well-known for it due to the use of lures being its primary hunting method.
  • American alligators normally don't hunt in this manner, but they make an exception for nesting birds - they'll occasionally balance sticks on their snouts to bait in birds that would otherwise be too difficult to catch. This is one of the few instances of predatory animals being documented using tools to aid them in hunting.