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

Subject: Some sort of parasite?
Location: Lafayette, NJ
July 12, 2016 12:53 pm
I found a most curious thing today while out hiking – an asian multicolored lady beetle with it’s shell open, wings extended, and what appears to be some sort of growth or parasite on its back. I’ve never seen anything like this before and can’t come up with any explanation. So, hoping you can have a look at these photos and perhaps solve the mystery?
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

What Parasitized the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle???

What Parasitized the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle???

Hi Deborah,
Though we cannot at this time provide you with a conclusive identification of what parasitized this Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle,
Harmonia axyridis, we hope that whatever it is will help reduce the populations of this invasive Lady Beetle that is displacing many native species.  Our best guess is that it is the pupa of a Tachinid Fly or some parasitic Hymenopteran.  According to Featured Creatures:  “All insects have predators, parasites/parasitoids, and/or pathogens. Ladybirds are not exempt. Larvae of Epilachna borealis and E. varivestis are attacked by a native tachinid fly (Aplomyiopsis epilachnae (Aldrich)) which specializes in the genus Epilachna. Larvae of E. varivestis also are attacked by a eulophid wasp (Pediobius foveolatus, see above). This wasp is a parasitoid of other epilachnine ladybirds in India, and was introduced into the USA specifically to control Epilachna varivestis. Another native tachinid fly, Hyalmyodes triangulifer (Loew), is less specialized, attacking larvae not only of Epilachna varivestis, but also of Coleomegilla maculata, several weevils, and a pterophorid moth. Perhaps the best known of the parasitoids of ladybirds is the braconid wasp Perilitus coccinellae (Schrank). It attacks adult ladybirds and to a lesser extent larvae and pupae (Obrycki et al. 1985). It attacks Coccinella septempunctata, Coleomegilla maculata, and several other species. Many other parasitoids and pathogens of ladybirds are not mentioned here for lack of space.”

Thanks, Daniel – I just wasn’t quite sure what I was seeing, although some sort of parasite makes the most sense.
Interestingly, I have been seeing more native lady beetle species this summer in our area – many more than in past summers.  I am very encouraged by this as I know the asian has really hurt our native species.
Debbi

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red mystery wasp
Location: near Ottawa, Ontario
July 18, 2016 3:43 pm
What is this beautiful little insect? I’m guessing some sort of wasp, maybe a parasitic wasp? I photographed it last week along Cedar Grove Nature Trail near Ottawa, where I see many fascinating tiny insects I can’t identify!
Signature: Suzanne

Ichneumon Stalks Caterpillar

Ichneumon Stalks Caterpillar

Dear Suzanne,
This is an amazing image.  We suspect that the Ichneumon Wasp, which you speculated correctly is a parasitoid, is stalking the Caterpillar.  Caterpillars are a common host to many species of Ichneumons.  Ichneumons are often very host specific, frequently limiting their prey to a single genus, or even a single species.  We are probably not even going to attempt to identify this Ichneumon beyond the family level as according to BugGuide, there are:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed”  The caterpillar may be an Inchworm in the family Geometridae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What killed this wasp!?
Location: Cincinnati
July 18, 2016 3:24 pm
The other day my girlfriend saw this larger mosquito looking thing on her chair. And then today we saw it take down a full grown wasp! We want to know if we have been brought a savior, or will it kill my family in my sleep?
Signature: Billy Yeager

Hanging Thief eats Paper Wasp

Hanging Thief eats Wasp

Dear Billy,
The predator in your image is a Hanging Thief, a Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites, and it is easy to see where they got their common name by looking at your image.  Thief is a synonym for the family name Robber and the members of the genus Diogmites frequently feed while hanging from a single front leg.  Large Robber Flies are impressive predators that hunt on the wing, and BugGuide describes the diet of the Hanging Thieves as eating “insects (often larger than themselves), mostly aculeate Hymenoptera, but also Odonata and Diptera (incl. members of the same species).”  The stinging insects in the order Hanging Thieves feed upon include wasps as in your image and bees. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: robber fly?
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
June 29, 2016 2:56 pm
I’m assuming this is a robber fly, but wondering for sure.
This photo was taken on June 29, 2016
Thanks!
Signature: Teddy Alfrey

Robber Fly with Prey

Robber Fly with Prey

Dear Teddy,
Was this a small fly?  We believe we have correctly identified it as the Robber Fly
Cerotainia albipilosa based on this and other BugGuide images and its size is listed as less than five millimeters.

Daniel,
Thanks for the quick response!
I post quite a few of my photos on Facebook and would like to ID the various bugs and plants that I find myself photographing, more and more.
Five millimeters is about right. I was thinking a little less than ¼” long, including wings.
Thanks again!!
Teddy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Flying Bug
Location: Maryland Eastern Shore
June 12, 2016 5:58 pm
I found this guy with a large bumblebee in its grasp. I searched extensively but got nowhere. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Nick

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Bumble Bee

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Bumble Bee

Dear Nick,
Large Robber Flies are arguably the most adept aerial predators in the insect world.  Dragonflies are larger, but they don’t tend to prey on larger insects, mainly satisfying themselves with mosquitoes and smaller prey.  Not so large Robber Flies that tend to prey on bees and wasps.  Your individual is a Red Footed Cannibalfly,
Promachus rufipes, a species that begins to make a regular appearance among our identification requests beginning in June, and continuing through the hot summer months.  The Red Footed Cannibalfly is also called a Bee Panther.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Snail eating millipede
Location: Harpers Ferry, WV
May 23, 2016 5:24 pm
I thought you guys might like the picture I took this morning of a snail eating a millipede. Enjoy!
Signature: Barb

Predatory Snail Eats Millipede

Predatory Snail Eats Millipede

Dear Barb,
There is a similar image on BugGuide, but we think yours has more attractive subjects.  We don’t know if this is a native Snail or an introduced species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination