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

Subject: A botfly in the far North?
Location: Far North, Ont., Can.
September 15, 2013 9:23 am
I caught a mouse one night and found that there were four huge bumps on its back. I looked closer and saw what appeared to be botfly larvae in holes on each bump. I froze it and gave it to our local science teacher who dissected it with her class. Here’s a picture of what they dissected. Sure looks like a botfly to me!
I live in Fort Albany First Nation, Ontario, Canada, and I am surprised that there are botflys this far North! But is it really a botfly?
Signature: FAFN Resident

Rodent Bot Fly Larva removed from Dissected Mouse

Rodent Bot Fly Larva removed from Dissected Mouse

Dear FAFN Resident,
We concur that this is a Rodent Bot Fly Larva.  According to BugGuide Data, Bot Flies are found in Canada.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: parasite update!
Location: Hugh MacRae Park Wilmington, NC
September 13, 2013 11:18 am
Hi Curious Creature Catcher here!!
I have an update from my last message:
September 13, 2013 2:09 pm
Three new parasites have exited the body of the cicada. My thoughts would be that they feasted on the insides, as they have left the shell of the body intact. I know for sure that they did come from the inside, but I do not know how they exited other than through the anus. Could these be Cicada Parasite Beetles?
Thanks in advance!!

Cicada with Parasites

Cicada with Parasites

my last comment:
”September 13, 2013 8:55 AM
Hello! I was in a park in Wilmington N.C. and picked up a cicada that was lying on a black paved walkway. It seemed to have just recently died, as it’s limbs and body were not stiff. I decided to take it home and placed it in the center of an empty console of my car. Upon arriving home in addition to the cicada I saw what appeared to be a parasite wiggling around in the console that measures just over a half of an inch. In observing the cicada even closer I have noticed that several body parts (head, beak and anus) are moving as if something is inside of it! Back to the parasite- it seems to have one tooth or claw like feature in the front that helps it move about. If it did come from inside the cicada I am not sure how it came out unless it was through the opening of the anus, as there are no other openings that appear on the cicada. Could this be the larva stage of a cicada killer wasp? If so, could the wasp have laid more than one egg and there are more inside of th e cica
da. Also, I thought the wasp would have taken the cicada underground- not left it on a paved walkway…”
Signature: Curious Creature Catcher

Cicada and Parasite

Cicada and Parasite

Dear Curious Creature Catcher,
This will require a bit more research on our part, but we want to post it with our initial reaction.  We do not think this parasite looks like it will metamorphose into a beetle.  You are correct that Cicada Killers drag the prey to a burrow where a single egg is laid.  Our gut instinct is that this is a fly larva, perhaps that of a Tachinid Fly.  According to BugGuide:  “Larval stages are parasitoids of other arthropods; hosts include members of 11 insect orders, centipedes, spiders, and scorpions. Some tachinids are very host-specific, others parasitize a wide variety of hosts. The most common hosts are caterpillars. Most tachinids deposit their eggs directly on the body of their host, and it is not uncommon to see caterpillars with several tachinid eggs on them. Upon hatching the larva usually burrows into its host and feeds internally. Full-grown larva leaves the host and pupates nearby. Some tachinids lay their eggs on foliage; the larvae are flattened and are called planidia; they remain on the foliage until they find a suitable host.”

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Subject: Hunter & Hunted
Location: Rose Hill/Montecito Heights
September 14, 2013 10:48 am
Good morning Daniel,
It’s been a while since I’ve had time to go through the site for all of the new submissions however this morning I saw something I thought to be share-worthy.
This year has brought to my yard many Green Lynx spiders as well as several mantids. This one [Lynx] in particular made it into my house last week. Here size amazed me, full leg spread makes her about the size of a half dollar with a body the diameter of a quarter. After a failed photo shoot where she jumped on me I escorted her out to my potted orange tree vaguely recalling I had seen a juvenile mantis some weeks ago but never again. Well… I think the pictures tell the rest of the story.
Ironically, I think his nest mate (a female) on my chili plant made short work of the Lynx that were there over the last few weeks. Brother not so lucky.
Signature: joAnn

Green Lynx Spider eats California Mantis

Green Lynx Spider eats California Mantis

Dear joAnn,
Thanks for submitting this wonderful documentation of a Green Lynx Spider eating what we believe is a male California Mantis.  We hope he had a chance to mate with the female on your chili plant so that you will have a new generation next year.  Even though you are across the freeway, we are tagging your submission as a Mount Washington posting.

Green Lynx Spider eats California Mantis

Green Lynx Spider eats California Mantis

Update:  September 14, 2013 7:30 PM
Hi Daniel,
I checked in on them this evening and found that she’s still feeding. Her abdomen has blown up considerably while the mantis has become all but translucent.
Here’s a follow up shot, unfortunately I had to use my phone so it’s not as crisp – I think it still conveys her progress. Hopefully they didn’t take out all of my mantis babies. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a new batch next year.
Enjoy your evening,
joAnn

Green Lynx Spider feeds on California Mants

Green Lynx Spider feeds on California Mants

Hi joAnn,
Thanks for the update.  We suspect this well-fed Green Lynx Spider will be producing one or more egg sacs in the very near future.  Your posting has really struck a chord with our readership as there are 15 “likes” this morning.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unknown parasite of Acronicta oblinita
Location: Marsh in Salamonie Reservoir, NE Indiana
September 12, 2013 7:30 am
Bugman,
On Aug. 24 you helped my mother identify the Smartweed Caterpillar / Smeared Dagger Moth (Acronicta oblinita) that I found on a Rose Milkweed (Ascelpias incarnata) in a marsh. I collected another from a willow branch and brought it home. It stopped moving completely and even starting spinning a strange web. To my wife’s horror, dozens of small yellow parasites slowly emerged from its side as it was still (apparently?) alive. They all seemed to perish in the hot sun and the ants had a feast. Photo attached.
I searched Google Scholar for some clues…
I see a 1903 reference to a ”Rhogas rileyi Cress” being parasitic, mentioning the silk I saw (p. 24 here: http://bit.ly/1atDh3W). However, I cannot find R. rileyi Cress in recent mention so I wonder if the name has been updated. I see a recent publication noting that the parasitic wasp Aleiodes rileyi Cresson often chooses A. oblinita as a host, but it did not seem to undergo the mummification described.
Signature: Adam Thada

Parasitized Smartweed Caterpillar

Parasitized Smartweed Caterpillar

Hi Adam,
We are very impressed with your research, but in our opinion, the parasites that emerged from the Smartweed Caterpillar look more like fly larvae to us, so with that in mind, we would lean more toward this being an instance of parasitization by Tachinid Fly.  We have not been able to uncover any evidence, and that is just our first impression.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck determining What Parasitized the Smartweed Caterpillar?

Parasitized Smartweed Caterpillar

Parasitized Smartweed Caterpillar

Comment courtesy of Erwin
Subject: What Parasitized the Smartweed Caterpillar???
December 13, 2013 5:45 am
Hi,
Going through some older posts I found one submitted on Sept.13, 2013 by Adam Thada. These parasites are Braconidae for sure. Braconidae (genus Apanteles and others) are well known as parasites of Acronycta caterpillars.
Here you can see as an example larvae of Braconidae coming out of a caterpillar of Pieris sp.
(Please scroll down)
Signature: Erwin Beyer

Hi Erwin,
Your comment was written as though you provided a link by indicating to “scroll down”.  We did not get the link.

Subject: here is the link
December 13, 2013 9:04 am
Dear Daniel,
here is the required link: http://www.ingana.de/html_insekten/hymenoptera/hymenoptera-hautfluegler-wespen-schlupfwespen.html
Signature: Erwin Beyer

The Braconids in the link you provided look exactly like the ones submitted to us.  Thanks Erwin.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cicada killer with prey
Location: Roe, Monroe County, Arkansas
September 10, 2013 8:33 am
Thought I’d share this lucky shot with my cell phone camera! Taken 10:15 AM 9/10/2013 in Monroe County, AR. I was sitting on my porch enjoying the sunshine, and saw something fall from the tree. I was thrilled to watch this cicada killer drag her prey up the tree, where she paused above my hammock rope long enough for me to take a picture.
Signature: Sherry Young

Cicada Killer and Prey

Cicada Killer and Prey

Hi Sherry,
We believe this is the only photo of a Cicada Killer and her prey we have received this year.  Cicada Killers often drag paralyzed Cicadas up a tree or other high spot because they can then glide and fly toward the underground nest.  It is very difficult to gain altitude from the ground with such a heavy load.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Two Larva Eat and Kill Mouse
Location: Mass USA
September 3, 2013 5:08 pm
I caught a mouse in my kitchen. I come to find I was able to because it was injured. I put it into a clear cage to show the kids. I come to find the mouse has a hole in its stomach and Two protruding round items imbedded inside. Which I thought were ticks. The mouse is almost dead anyways. So I decide to keep it in the container and wait to see what happens. I check the next day after work and find the bugs detached from the mouse. Each about a half inch long wiggling around. Not really moving in any direction but just wiggling. I also showed this to a friend who’s an exterminator and he says he’s never seen anything like it, also the mouse may be a rat. If that helps. I’ve always been into bugs and snakes, etc. I have never seen anything like this before. Should I be worried seeing as I caught the mouse in the house?
Signature: Matt

Bot Fly Larva emerges from Mouse

Bot Fly Larva emerges from Mouse

Dear Matt,
Bot Fly or Warble Fly Larvae in the family Oestridae are common endoparasites in mammals, especially rodents.  The adult Bot Fly resembles a bumble bee.  From what we have read, the larvae do not kill the host, so perhaps your mouse died of other causes, or perhaps in the case of small animals, the Bot Fly Larvae can do significant damage.  We will copy Bot Fly specialist Jeff Boettner to see if he can add any information.

Bot Fly Larvae

Bot Fly Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination