Currently viewing the category: "attack of the fungus"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hairy wasp
Location: Gulf Shores, AL
January 28, 2016 7:59 am
We found this wasp under some lantana while we were weeding the garden. It was already dead and laying in the leaf litter. It appears to have long “hairs” that grew all over its body. Can you tell us what kind of wasp this is?
Found is Gulf Shores, AL. on 1/28/16
Signature: Gulf State Park

Paper Wasp covered in Fungus

Paper Wasp covered in Fungus

This is a Paper Wasp and it is being “devoured” by Fungus.  Many living insects are attacked by Fungus and they eventually die.  Dead insects in damp locations might also be broken down by Fungus.  This BugGuide image identifies the Cordyceps fungus.

Thank you so much for the quick reply. I thought it was just a normal paper wasp, but I had never seen anything quite like that! I thought that it maybe had roots growing out of it.  Thank you again!
Thanks,
Kelly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: hi
Location: Marshall nc
January 4, 2016 6:52 pm
What is this
Signature: aaron Chisholm

Corpse of a Carolina Leaf Roller

Corpse of a Carolina Leaf Roller

Dear Aaron,
This is a female Orthopteran, and we believe it may be a Carolina Leaf Roller, but its condition has us quite curious.  It appears to be dead and not the exuvia or shed exoskeleton that results during metamorphosis.  Perhaps this individual succumbed to a fungus attack similar to this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fuzzy earwig???
Location: Tampa, fl
December 7, 2015 8:42 am
Hello! I saw this little guy in my lawn this morning. We live on a lake in Tampa, Florida (in case area is relevant). Didn’t move the whole time I observed it. Looks like an earwig wearing a fur coat!
Signature: Sarah

Earwig with Fungus Infestation

Earwig with Fungus Infestation

Dear Sarah,
Many creatures, including Flies, Wasps, Lady Beetles and Spiders are attacked by Fungus.  Your Earwig appears to have succumb to a fungus infection.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp of some kind
Location: North Carolina
October 18, 2015 7:12 am
Hey bugman , just wondering what type of bug is this??
Signature: Ace

Paper Wasp consumed by Fungus

Paper Wasp consumed by Fungus

Dear Ace,
This insect is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, however, its appearance has been altered by a fungus infection that eventually killed the wasp.  This is, to the best of our knowledge, the only image we have on our site of a Paper Wasp consumed by fungus, but we do have images of a Tarantula attacked by Fungus, Cellar Spiders with Fungus Infections and a Raspy Cricket with a Fungus Infection.  Here is an interesting article from National Geographic on Mind Control Fungus and there is also a National Geographic image of a wasp infested with fungus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is going on – two photos?
Location: Essex, UK
August 31, 2015 10:38 am
I photographed these at Thameside Nature Park on 30 August.
The fly appears to be sitting on a nest apparently containing tiny youngsters – and with a trapdoor at the end. Has the fly been caught and left as food for the youngsters? Is it eating them itself?
These is also this strange red thing which appears to be spinning itself a cacoon.
Signature: Karenina

Tachinid Fly Emerges from Puparium

Tachinid Fly Emerges from Puparium

Dear Karenina,
We believe this is a Tachinid Fly, a parasitoid, and we believe your image might have something to do with the adult Tachinid Fly emerging from its host insect.  The other image might have something to do with fungus.  This is all conjecture and we eagerly welcome any additional information.

Possibly a Fungus

Possibly a Fungus

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Subject: Morphing Pods
Location: John Bryan State Park – Yellow Springs, OH
June 7, 2015 9:06 am
I live in Ohio and was walking through the woods on May 17th. We were down by the creek and on the over hanging rocks we found these strange pods. Some looked like they could be scale bugs but as we examined more we could see the cycle unfold. The pale off white dripping pods eventually turned into so sort of flying insect. Could you shed any light on what sort of creatures they could be?
Thank you!
Signature: Curious Naturalist

Mystery Insects

Mystery Insects may be Fungus Infection

Dear Curious Naturalist,
We wish you had better quality images.  We do not know what is going on here, but it appears there are several different species of insects along with what you are calling “Morphing Pods”, and we have not been able to find anything similar looking online.  The larger white bodies insects with dark markings and wings do not look familiar to us, but hopefully one of our readers will be able to provide some information.  Can you provide any additional information regarding the size of the things in question?

Mystery

Fungus Infection

Mystery

Fungus Infection

I am sorry about the quality I only had my phone on my at the time. They were no bigger than a small fingernail. It was almost as if they were globs sprouting wings, then eyes and so on. At first I thought it was the early life cycle of another insect I had seen but I am an amateur and can not tell if they are similar enough. here is what I thought they MIGHT turn into.  Thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this mystery.

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Thanks for the additional information.  The new image you provided is a Golden Backed Snipe Fly and we don’t believe it has any connection to the pods you observed.

Eric Eaton confirms our own suspicion
Daniel:
I’m thinking the “cycle” is the other way around.  It looks clear to me that these are midges that have become infected with some kind of entomopathic fungus.  This is certainly well-documented in other flies, but I haven’t seen a group effect like this before.
Eric

Thanks so much Eric,
We had pondered the possibility that this might be a fungus.  Thanks for the confirmation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination