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

Subject: Solifugid and Cicada
Location: Mayhill, NM, USA
June 20, 2015 10:52 pm
It’s been a little while since I’ve visited your site, mostly being busy with other things; however, revisited it about a week ago because I remember greatly enjoying the different pictures and descriptions. Looking through your site reminded me of this picture I nabbed a little over a year ago; I’d just gotten home from a nighttime trip to town for provisions (it’s about an hour drive away, and at the time they were seeing daytime temperatures upwards of 110F) and was checking on my plants I’ve got scattered around outside the house when I heard a strange noise; it was like a clicking and flapping that I couldn’t quite place. Seeking it out, I found these two, a Solifugid and a cicada, the one struggling to eat the other as the other tried desperately to fly away. By the time I managed to get my camera, the cicada had died and the Solifugid was happily munching away, but knowing how rare it is to see even the end result of a hunt like that, I took a picture anyway. Around here, our cicadas are tiny, rarely ever getting over an inch in length; you can somewhat make out a Ponderosa pine needle in the foreground bottom center, extending to the left of the pair, for reference.
I’m gonna go ahead and send this other picture I took about the same time; it’s another tiny Solifugid, resting on a bed of moss. That’s pretty typical moss, and all the “twigs” are actually more Ponderosa pine needles, so you can tell this guy was tiny. I love finding these guys around here; they’re really neat to watch scurry around.
Hope you enjoy the pictures!
Signature: Grady

Solifugud eats Cicada

Solifugud eats Cicada

Dear Grady,
We were out of the office for several weeks and we are just now combing through to find interesting submissions to post.  We know we will miss many because we have so many unanswered submissions, but we are selecting submissions based on subject lines and your subject line caught our attention.  Thanks for submitting this wonderful Food Chain image of a Solifugid eating a Cicada, but especially because of the detailed verbal account of your observations.

Solifugid

Solifugid

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: apple tree infestation
Location: Guildford Surrey
June 28, 2015 10:38 am
Hi, I found lots of these climbing on my apple tree. There was also a type of white fungus around which some of them congregated – this possibly contains eggs?
I don’t know if they are bad for the tree or not. They measure approx. 1cm, but some are slightly smaller. They have 6 legs but the back part of their body looks like a caterpillar.
I hope you can help.
Signature: Barbara

Lady Beetle Larvae eat Hemipterans

Lady Beetle Larvae eat Hemipterans

Dear Barbara,
While there is a pest problem on your apple tree, nature seems to be controlling the situation.  What you have mistaken for fungus or eggs is actually a type of Hemipteran, possibly a Woolly Aphid which you can read about on the Royal Horticultural Society site.  The crawling insects are the larvae of Lady Beetles, and they are feeding on the Hemipterans.   The bad news here is that the Lady Beetle Larva is an Asian Lady Beetle Larva, a nonnative species, and it is believed that the proliferation of nonnative Asian Lady Beetles in North America is contributing to the decline in numbers of native species.

Lady Beetle Larva

Lady Beetle Larva

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for the information – so it is good news and bad news!
Since posting, many of the larva have now attached their back ends to the tree bark and are hanging upside down, obviously in preparation for their next stage of development.  Also, there is now very little evidence of the ‘white fluff’ so they have probably done their job.  Unfortunately, many of the leaves on the tree are not looking very healthy but I am loathe to spray anything and just let nature take its course so I can review the tree in the autumn (it is past its prime anyway).
Thank you again for your help.
Regards
Barbara

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cicada killers
Location: Tennessee
June 4, 2015 3:47 pm
I was outside and saw these weird bugs eating a cicada. When I looked closee at the Bush they were everywhere. Some cicadas only had a few, but some were completely swarmed. You also can’t really tell in the pic but they have a spider man coloration in the sun.
Signature: -Brad

Florida Predatory Stink Bugs eat Cicada

Florida Predatory Stink Bugs eat Cicada

Dear Brad,
This year marked the emergence of the The Lower Mississippi Valley Brood, Brood XXIII of the Periodical Cicadas,
Magicicada neotredecim, a species that appears every 13 years.  When the Cicadas are plentiful, they provide food for predators, including the Florida Predatory Stink Bug nymphs pictured in your image.  This is an awesome food chain image and it is a wonderful addition to our archive.  Folks can read more about Brood XXIII on Magicada.org where we read:  “2015 will be a remarkable year for periodical cicadas. 13-year Brood XXIII, the Mississipian Brood, and 17-year Brood IV, the Kansan Brood, will both emerge.  The 2015 emergence of periodical cicadas will be extraordinary. 13-year Brood XXIII will emerge in the Mississippi River Valley. This brood contains all four described species of 13-year periodical cicadas- Magicicada neotredecim, Magicicada tredecim, M. tredecassini, and M. tredecula. 17-year Brood IV, the Kansan Brood, will emerge along the western edge of the general periodical cicada range. This brood contains Magicicada septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula. Thus, in 2015, you can see all seven described species of Magicicada.”  Supplied with that information, we don’t know for certain which species of Cicada you observed as so many generations are overlapping this year.  More about the Florida Predatory Stink Bugs can be found on Featured Creatures.

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Subject: What’s that wasp?
Location: Seattle. Can be more specific if need be.
April 25, 2015 2:37 pm
Picture taken in Seattle at a park. Wasp is apparently eating the other bug. The profile and colors don’t match I’ve found, but it does resemble an ichneumon somewhat. Your idea as to species?
Signature: Roger

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber with Prey

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber with Prey

Dear Roger,
This is a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber,
Sceliphron caementarium, and you can verify our identification on BugGuide where it states:  “Adults nectar at flowers; mud nests are built in all kinds of sheltered locations, incl. man-made structures, rock ledges, etc. Adults collect mud for nests at puddle/pool edges.  Food nests are provisioned with spiders.”  Your individual is not feeding, but rather capturing prey with which to provision its nest, so they prey is likely a Spider.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillars in Costa Rica
Location: Monteverde, Costa Rica
April 24, 2015 10:28 am
What are these caterpillars, what are they going to turn into, why do they clump like this, and why does one (lower right) appear to have white things on it?
Signature: Ashley from the Monteverde Institute

Nymphalidae Caterpillars

Moth Caterpillars

Dear Ashley,
We believe these Caterpillars are in the Brush Footed Butterfly family Nymphalidae, and the caterpillar in question appears to have been parasitized by a Chalcid or Braconid Wasp.  We will contact Keith Wolfe to see if he can identify the caterpillars more specifically.

Nymphalidae Caterpillar parasitized by Wasp

Moth Caterpillar parasitized by Wasp

Keith Wolfe provides a correction
Hi Daniel,
Nope, these are immature moths, the scoli (spines) being much too long for any Neotropical nymphalid.
Best wishes,
Keith

After Keith Wolfe’s correction, we are now speculating that they are relatives of Buck Moths in the subfamily Hemileucinae and we will see if Bill Oehlke can provide any information.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: huntsman
Location: Perth,Western Australia
April 16, 2015 6:30 am
I just sent you a msg re-paraylised huntsman on my windowsill and didnt have the link to send a photo so here they are.
What can i do with it?

Subject: Huntsman Spider
April 16, 2015 6:02 am
I live in western Australia. Huntsman spiders are common but never really seen in my area, however with the change in weather in the last week i’ve seen 2 being dragged by wasps. One made it back to its nest while the other couldn’t quite get it up the wall into the tiny hole. Now i have a paraylised huntsman sitting on my windowsill and have no idea what to do with it. Can you help?
Signature: zoe

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Spider

Dear Zoe,
Female Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae sting and paralyze Spiders to feed their young, laying an egg on the paralyzed spider which provides living and fresh (not dead and dried out)
food for the developing larva that eats its still living meal.  Your letter did not indicate why the Spider Wasps left behind the spiders, but we would urge you to not interfere in the future if that is what happened.  It takes tremendous effort for a female Spider Wasp to provide for her brood.  If enough venom was injected into the spider, it will most likely not recover.  We have numerous postings from Australia of Spider Wasps and Huntsman Spider prey.

Hi Daniel, thank you for your reply. My apologies, I had sent 2 different questions the second just contained photo’s. I can promise I didn’t interfere with anything. I seem to have nesting’s of wasps under the house and also in the roof.  The wasp simply gave up trying to pull the huntsman up the wall. It went up and down 3 times, nearly getting there on the 3rd attempt but seemed to give up and left it on the windowsill. I know its pretty much a lost battle for the huntsman and I have left it alone incase the wasp came back but it has not. So I guess my question is what to do with the paralysed but still living spider on my window? What do you suggest?

We would let nature take its course because we are guessing it is on the outside.

Update:  May 14, 2015
Hi Daniel,
I have been in contact with you previously as you can see from the e-mails below with regards to a huntsman spider that was left on my windowsill. The reason I am getting back in contact with you is I need to move it because my son is nearly able to reach the sill and has taken interest in what’s sitting on it. So figuring as its been a month I went to move it and to my surprise our huntsman has flinched its body and its legs. So this is my predicament… I need to move it as my son will soon be able to grab it and probably will do if I’m not looking, and even though it was stung and paralysed by a wasp our huntsman seems to have regained some movement. The poor thing has been sitting there for a month but has shown me (only moments ago) that it has some fight left. What can I do? I would not feel right placing the huntsman just anywhere which is why I am asking for you to help guide me on the best possible solution which may just preserve this ones life should it fully recover. I do want to make clear also that I never interfere with nature and its way of life but certain situations like this sometimes need a little helping hand however big or small.
I would really appreciate it if you could advise me on the best place to put him, I am simply not going to just throw him in the bin or out on the lawn.
Many thanks in advance, I look forward to your reply
Kind Regards
Zoe Delaney

Hi Zoe,
We would suggest a sheltered location outdoors, perhaps under an overturned flower pot or some other place that will offer some protection from predators and the elements.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination