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

Subject: Banded Garden Spider?
Location: Hialeah, Florida
September 8, 2016 7:43 am
I *think* this is a female Banded Garden Spider. I first saw it on August 14 and at first thought it was a tree snail due to the appearance of the back. The body was more than an inch long, and it stayed in its web in the same place for weeks, catching bees. I was rather hoping there would be a lot of baby spiders later, but a few weeks later there were 2 days of torrential rain during which time I didn’t look for her & when I did look, she was gone, leaving an intact web and no clue as to her disappearance. The third photo was one of a lucky series- I was taking a picture of her holding a webbed up bee when another bee landed in the web. She was on that second bee so fast I had to scramble to get pics! (I’ll send 3 more of the series in another query.)Spider webbing up caught bee. I chose these out of the series because one shows the bee clearly, and the other two do a fair job of showing the spinnerets in action.
Signature: Curious in Florida

Banded Garden Spider

Banded Garden Spider

Dear Curious in Florida,
Thanks for sending in your wonderful images of a Banded Garden Spider or Banded Orbweaver,
Argiope trifasciata.  They are an excellent addition to our archives.

Banded Garden Spider

Banded Garden Spider

Banded Garden Spider Snares Honey Bee

Banded Garden Spider Snares Honey Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange body/Blue wing Wasp – dragging/burying spider
Location: Ocala, FL
September 8, 2016 5:45 pm
Saw this the other day and at first thought the spider had the bug, until the bug ran off in circles for a second and then went back and started dragging the spider to a small hole in the sand. He then started to bury the spider. I actually have video, so these are stills. Just wondering what it is and whether or not it is a danger to any pets (assuming you don’t have pet spiders).
Signature: Ginger

Spider Wasp with Wolf Spider

Spider Wasp with Wolf Spider

Hi Ginger,
We believe your Spider Wasp is
Tachypompilus ferrugineus based on images and range information on BugGuide.  Of the genus, BugGuide notes:  “Adults are often found taking nectar from flowers (Daucus, Pastinaca, and Eryngium). Females provision nests mainly with Lycosids.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Demon Insect?!
Location: United States
September 2, 2016 2:01 pm
It’s huge, at least 4.5 inches long, it looks like a dragonfly mixed with a wasp with a fluffy mane, it’s obviously carnivorous because it was just chilling on my porch eating up a wasp.
Signature: Audrey

Possibly Red Footed Cannibalfly eating Wasp

Possibly Red Footed Cannibalfly eating Wasp

Dear Audrey,
This is one of the Giant Robber Flies in the genus
Promachus, and we suspect it might be a Red Footed Cannibalfly.  We also believe your size estimate is an exaggeration. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please identify the big bug in picture
Location: north Georgia mountains
August 26, 2016 6:03 am
Good morning. A friend took the attached photo earlier this week. and has given his explicit permission for me to do with it what I want, including sharing it/using it. Our community is in the North Georgia mountains, and my friend’s home is located in the lower elevations of the neighborhood, adjacent to the golf course.
There have been a lot of yellow-jackets in the area this year, so we’re happy that something might be attacking them. But, what in the heck is that big something?
Thanks in advance for any assistance you are able to provide.
Signature: Edie

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellow Jacket

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellow Jacket

Dear Edie,
The predator in the image is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, a large species of Robber Fly.  While Robber Flies might bite a person who carelessly tried to handle one, they are not aggressive towards humans.  The unnatural position of the wings of the Red Footed Cannibalfly in your image is somewhat disturbing, leading us to speculate that it is no longer alive and possibly the victim of Unnecessary Carnage.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cuckoo for caterpillars (Food Chain)
Location: Louisa Co., Virginia, USA
August 17, 2016 10:24 am
I have a 9-year-old honeylocust which this year has the most glorious infestation of some apparently delicious caterpillars. I am an avid birdwatcher and have contented myself with mostly listening for the shy, elusive cuckoos that appear in my yard every year. However, for the past week they have not been able to stay away from this tree and the buffet the caterpillars are providing – as many as 3 cuckoos hanging around gorging themselves just outside my door. I’m not concerned about the tree – just a bit of minor defoliation, and it’s late in the season – but I sure hope that whatever bug this is decides to come back from now on so I can get such fantastic views of yellow-billed cuckoos!
Signature: Winston B

White Flannel Moth Caterpillar

White Flannel Moth Caterpillar

Goodness, Gracious Winston,
This one proved to be a far greater challenge to us than we anticipated.  We recall having identified this distinctive caterpillar species in the past, and we were relatively certain it was a Flannel Moth Caterpillar, so we searched our own archive.  We looked at hundreds of old postings, beginning with Asps and Flannel Moth Caterpillars, but we could not locate it.  We eventually found it on Walter Reeves Venomous (Poisonous) Caterpillars site where it is identified as a White Flannel Moth Caterpillar.  We then returned to our own site, but the most recent posting we had of a White Flannel Moth Caterpillar,
Norape ovina, was 2007, and that predated our site overhaul and recategorization method.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar has stinging spines” but obviously, your Cuckoos are unaffected by the spines or venom.  BugGuide also notes:  “Species name ovina is Latin, meaning ‘of or like sheep'” and we suspect that might be a reference to their group grazing behavior.  We love your Food Chain images.

Cuckoo Eats White Flannel Moth Caterpillars

Cuckoo Eats White Flannel Moth Caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: weird bug mating with bee
Location: high point, north carolina
August 15, 2016 5:26 pm
so i was sitting in my room and i looked on the screen of my window and saw a large-ish bug mating with a bee (bumble bee i think). the bee was “on bottom” and the larger bug was on top. the large bug had wings and large bulge-y black eyes. it seemed as if the wings went into a point at the bottom so it appeared somewhat in a triangle shape. i don’t know if that type of bug and bees mate often but the mating thing might help.
Signature: -brit

Robber Fly Eats Bee

Robber Fly Eats Bee

Dear -brit,
Bees and other insects do not engage in interspecies mating.  Your image is not ideal for identification purposes, but we believe you have observed a Robber Fly eating a Bee.  Large Robber Flies often prey upon wasps and bees.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination