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

Subject: What is she eating?
Location: Andover, NJ
May 27, 2014 12:27 pm
I was trying to get some shots of this paper wasp when I realized that it (she?) was eating or carrying something. I wasn’t able to get enough magnification in the image to determine what was in the wasps mouth, although it does look a little like a grub. The wasp eventually got tired of me taking pictures and took off with whatever it was still in its jaws. I’d be very interested in what was going on here.
Thank you!
Signature: Deborah

Paper Wasp with Prey

Paper Wasp with Prey

Hi Deborah,
It would be very difficult to identify the prey in your images conclusively, however, we can make an educated guess.  Paper Wasps in the genus
Polistes take nectar for nourishment, however, the workers do capture insects to feed to the developing larvae in the nest.  Caterpillars are a favored prey of Paper Wasps, and when they are captured, the caterpillars are often skinned and rolled into a ball for easy transportation back to the nest.  We feel strongly that the prey in your images is a Caterpillar.

Paper Wasp with Prey

Paper Wasp with Prey

Thank you!  What a fascinating thing to observe.  I thought it might be too early for them to be feeding larvae, but I guess it’s not.  Very cool.
Deborah Bifulco

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help Id?
Location: Big thicket tx
May 16, 2014 8:28 pm
These 2 pics were taken in early May in Big Thicket National Preserve.
Some type of robber fly or canibal fly I guess but can’t find anything like it online.Can you help Id it? Oh. What is it eating? I haven’t seen anything like that either.
Thanks
Signature: Anonymous

Robber Fly eats Longicorn

Robber Fly eats Longicorn

Dear Anonymous,
We have taken the liberty of lightening your Food Chain image of a Robber Fly eating a Longicorn Beetle.  We need to do some research to identify both beyond the family level, and that is our next task.  We are relatively certain this is a Bee-Like Robber Fly in the genus
Laphria, and the closest match we could find on BugGuide is Laphria grossa, though BugGuide does not have any records from Texas.  Since Big Thickets is in the eastern portion of Texas, we believe there is a strong possibility that our identification is correct.  We have based our potential identification on the black legs and the markings on the abdomen.  A similar looking species, Laphria vorax, has more yellow hairs on the legs according to images posted to BugGuide.  Now that we have provided an identification, at least to the genus level, of the predator, we can turn our attention to the Longicorn, a Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae that has many members that mimic wasps, including the prey in your image.  The closest match we could find on BugGuide is Clytus marginicollis, but again, there are no reports on BugGuide from Texas.  The antennae on your beetle are longer than the examples on Bugguide of Clytus marginicollis, so we are not as confident with our identification of the prey as we are with our identification of the predator.  A dorsal view of the prey would be helpful.  Perhaps one of our readers will write in with some suggestions.

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

I only have 1 other shot of the prey from the same angle though it is lighter since I was bracketing 1 stop for scenery and potential HDR images.
There are better exposed images but they are blurry.
thanks

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Gaitlinburg TN USA
May 10, 2014 3:21 pm
Hi , my name is Justin I collect insects as a hobby and have taken a couple entomology classes, but I can’t ID this insect. It looks like some sort of a longhorn beetle . But I believe this is husk or shell. Is this possibly a nymph stage of an insect? This was found in November 2013 near Gaitlinburg TN USA.
Signature: Justin. T

Unknown Katydid Nymph

Fungus Infected female Carolina Leaf Roller

Hi Justin,
WE are having trouble providing you with a definitive identification, but we can tell you this is not a Longhorn Beetle.  This is an Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera, the Longhorned Orthoptera.  Furthermore, we believe it is an immature Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae, and the presence of an ovipositor indicates it is a female.  This does not appear to be a shed exoskeleton, as there is no evidence of a splitting along the dorsal surface which is where the newly metamorphosed insect would emerge from a cast-off exuvia.  Your image is not as sharp as we would like, and we are uncertain if those are spines on the body, or perhaps the remnants of a fungal infection.  There are several examples on the Field Biology in Southeastern Ohio page of Carolina Leaf Rollers infected with
 Cordyceps fungus that look very similar to your image, and we believe that might be an accurate identification.  The description on the site states:  “Another body invading fungus is Cordyceps. They are known to attack at least a dozen different orders of insects. This is a Carolina Leafroller, Camptonotus carolinensis, a katydid relative.  The dark spot at the base of the abdomen, and the long ovipositor verify this as a female leafroller. Cordyceps fungi may be more familiar to some with regards to ants. This is the same genus that affects the brains of certain ants, turning them into zombies. They climb to high points on vegetation, then the fungal spores spring out of their head. Infected ants are recognized by the colony, and individuals are removed so they won’t cause the entire population to die.”  So, after our research, we are concluding that this is a female Carolina Leaf Roller, a Raspy Cricket, that has been infected by Cordyceps fungus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Praying Mantis eating a Cricket?
Location: East Rochester, New York
May 10, 2014 6:50 pm
Hi guys,
I saw this praying mantis eating some sort of bug and immediately thought of your site and the occasional bug on bug carnage pics that would be featured, so here you go! The second picture is some other bug at the same location that I see once in a while. It’s probably not a shield bug but is kinda close in shape. Both pictures were taken mid to late September 2013. And thank you for the great website it helped us identify the house centipedes we have and made them a little less creepy to encounter!
Signature: Veronica

Preying Mantis eats Cricket

Preying Mantis eats Cricket

Hi Veronica,
Thanks for sending us your documentation of a Preying Mantis eating a Cricket, however we want to correct one misconception in your email.  We do not consider anything to be “bug on bug carnage.”  We don’t believe the lower beasts kill one another without good reason, like for food or to defend themselves.  Rather, we have a Food Chain tag that includes images of insects or other creatures preying upon others for food, and we have an Unnecessary Carnage tag reserved for humans, who out of ignorance, kill lower beasts because of fear, misconception or just plain torture.  Your second image is an invasive, exotic Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

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