Currently viewing the tag: "food chain"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Chalcid wasps from katydid eggs
Location: Kirksville, Missouri
April 10, 2014 1:02 pm
I discovered your site last fall in my search to identify some katydid eggs attached to a sweet gum ball. I kept the eggs on my desk in the hopes of seeing katydids hatching, but ended up having parasitized eggs–I had about a dozen chalcid wasps emerge from the eggs. Sadly, they didn’t survive.
I used this site and bugguide to figure out that they were chalcid wasps, but I’d like to narrow down the identification if possible.
Thanks!
Signature: AC Moore

Katydid Eggs Parasitized by Chalcid Wasp

Katydid Eggs Parasitized by Chalcid Wasp

Dear AC Moore,
We actually found your answer much faster than we anticipated.  We found this posting to BugGuide of Parasitized Katydid Eggs and a comment reads:  “The holes you are seeing are actually the emergence holes of wasps that parasitize the eggs of katydids. The wasps produce these circular holes to escape the confines of the egg in which they develop. When a katydid hatches it splits the side of the egg open. I know wasps in the genus
Anastatus (Eupelmidae) and Baryconus (Scelionidae) attack katydid eggs having reared some myself.”  We then searched for images of wasps in the two mentioned genera, and this image of a Baryconus species on zsi.gov looks nothing like your wasp, however the Anastatus that is pictured on BugGuide looks very much like your wasp.  You are correct.  It is a Chalcid.

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

Anastatus species Chalcid Wasp

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spiny caterpillar
Location: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
March 27, 2014 3:26 pm
We came across this large spiny/fleshy caterpillar (being eaten by ants) in the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica at the end of the dry season (middle of March). It was about 3 inches long. Do you know what it would have become?
Signature: Alison

Ants eat Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Ants eat Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Hi Alison,
Alas, this caterpillar appears to have already become all that it will become, food for Ants.  Were it not attacked, it should have transformed into one of the Giant Silkmoths in the family Saturniidae and the subfamily Hemileucinae, though we have not had any luck verifying the actual species.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to get his opinion.

Daniel,
Only a guess. Automeris postalbida. Color might be off due to near death.
Please always ask for more precise location before sending images. Saves me
time in looking things up. Different species, often very similar, can often
come from different locations. If I know location I might only have to
search through five files instead of fifty as I have species checklists for
most of South and Central America down to one level below national level..
Thanks for thinking of me.
Bill

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A Dragonfly of some sort?
Location: South Central Pennsylvania
March 16, 2014 7:38 pm
I took this photo in my yard last summer. I cannot find any photos anywhere that look similar.
I never saw one before. Hoping you can help to identify it.
Signature: Karen

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Hi Karen,
Though this is a highly off season posting, we are nonetheless thrilled to post your spectacular image of one of the most adept insect predators in North America, the Red Footed Cannibalfly,
Promachus rufipes, a species of Giant Robber Fly.  Your individual appears to be feeding on a Wasp.  According to BugGuide:  “Preys on large flying insects. Has been reported to attack Ruby-throated Hummingbirds” with a link to Hilton Pond.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identification of a bug / insect
Location: HMAS Cerberus, Hastings, Victoria
January 22, 2014 12:59 pm
Hi,
Hoping you can help me please.
I was at HMAS Cerberus earlier this week. I had asked my son to stand next to a monument for a photo. He spotted a bee and said “I’m not standing there, I don’t want to get stung” .. then out of nowhere, this huge bug / insect came flying past me, picked the bee out of the air and landed on the monument …. I told Jordan he didn’t have to worry about the bee anymore! hahaha
But taking photos of the insect, I have never seen one before and would like to find out what it is if possible. It’s an amazing looking bug. The feet on it look like hooves! Please see attached photos.
Thanks and kind regards,
Jen.
Melbourne, Australia
Signature: Jen – Jen’s Freelance Photography

Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Common Brown Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Hi Jen,
What an amusing anecdote you have provided.  Did Jordan worry about this considerably larger, predatory Robber Fly in the family Asilidae?  Based on photos on the Brisbane Insect website, we believe this might be a Common Brown Robber Fly in the genus
Zosteria.  Robber Flies are very adept hunters and they often take large prey, including bees and wasps, while on the wing, just as you witnessed.

Common Brown Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Common Brown Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much for your reply.
Funnily enough, Jordan wasn’t as worried about the much larger “Robber Fly”.  It looked somewhat like a dragon fly and didn’t have a stinger on it’s tail so we were both thinking at the time that it was relatively harmless (until I read up on them!).  Seeing it take the bee mid flight, hearing an almost “thud” as it landed and then watching it devour it’s prey should have been a hint, in heinsight, that this was not a particularly friendly creature …. hahahaha.
I had sent an email to yourselves and also Pestworld.org   …  the people at Pestworld.org loved my images so much that they will now be using them on their website for identification purposes, which is fantastic.
Thanks so much for taking the time to get back to me.  Should I encounter any further strange little creatures in my travels, I will forward them on.
Thanks and kind regards,
Jen.
Jeannie Van Den Boogaard
Jen’s Freelance Photography

Hi again Jen,
For the record, Robber Flies do not prey upon people and we have never gotten a report from a person who was bitten by a Robber Fly.  We suspect that if a Robber Fly is captured in one’s hands, a bite might result.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp and Spider
Location: Malaysia
January 22, 2014 2:45 pm
Dear Mr Marlos,
This is the stream in which that spider was found. Incidentally just for your interest as i was standing on one of these boulders this blue winged insect (perhaps a wasp?) the size of my big toe landed, when if flew off it left this carcass of a large spider it had been carrying about underneath.
N.Sathesh

Wasp

Wasp

Hi again N. Sathesh,
Your new images have us very intrigued and we are creating a brand new posting.  This blue winged creature is most definitely a wasp, but we are not certain if it is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompillidae.  The situation with the spider is very interesting.  We believe the Wasp bit the legs off the Spider to make it easier to transport.  In situations like this where a Wasp preys on a Spider or other insect, the prey is generally paralyzed to provide a food source for a larva.  We will try to identify this fascinating Wasp.  It resembles this Spider Wasp from Borneo on Alex Hyde’s website.

Spider with legs Amputated

Spider with legs Amputated

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Happy New Year
What’s That Bug? has been appearing as an online column since 1998 (originally on the now defunct American Homebody website) and then as a unique website since 2002.  If we consider the development of the website to be our true date of birth, we are beginning our thirteenth year online.  Our first Bug of the Month was the Dobsonfly in June 2006, and each month since then, we featured some bug that is representative of the season or relevant for some other reason.  Since the beginning of the new year is always a kind of rebirth, we thought you might enjoy this positively gorgeous set of images of the Metamorphosis of the Ladybird Beetle that were shot on Barbados.

Ladybird Beetle Eggs

Ladybird Beetle Eggs

Subject: different stages in a ladybird’s development
Location: Barbados
December 30, 2013 8:39 pm
Hi Daniel,
That is good to know. i will send in some pics occasionally but for now i think this set will make a great addition to your site. It is a set of the different stages in a ladybird’s development. eggs > larvae > pupa > adult and one of an adult with a buffet of aphids.
Regards,
Signature: Niaz

Ladybird Larva

Ladybird Larva

Dear Niaz,
Thank you so much for sending us your beautiful images documenting the metamorphosis of a Lady Beetle on Barbados.  We haven’t had much luck determining the species, however we are thrilled to find it is not the invasive, exotic Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle, a species that has gotten a strong hold in North America, and which we fear might be resulting in a drop in the populations of native Lady Beetle species because of the fierce competition as well as aggressive predation.

Lady Beetle Pupa

Lady Beetle Pupa

It is the time of the month for us to select a Bug of the Month for January 2014, and we have selected your submission to run on our scrolling banner for the next month.  We thought metamorphosis would be a lovely subtext for the beginning of the new year.  So Happy New Year to all of our faithful readers as well as to our new visitors.

Lady Beetle from Barbados

Lady Beetle from Barbados

As an aside, the photo of the Lady Beetle feeding on the Aphids allows us to tag this as a Food Chain posting.

Lady Beetle feeds on Aphids

Lady Beetle feeds on Aphids

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination