Currently viewing the tag: "food chain"
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

Subject: I wonder if you’ve seen some of these before…
Location: Pointe-a-la-Garde, Quebec
August 31, 2013 6:20 pm
This evening, 8 of these bumblebee/beetle type insects invaded my house. My dog injured one of them and then three other of these insects attacked and killed the injured one.
Signature: Thanks for taking a look! Alex.

Tomentose Burying Beetle

Tomentose Burying Beetle

Dear Alex,
This is definitely a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus, and we are relatively certain it is the Tomentose Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus tomentosus based on photos posted to BugGuide.  Burying Beetles often bury small dead animals and the putrefying flesh acts as food for developing larvae.  Adults often work in pairs to bury small animals and they defend the young, a behavioral trait that is very rare in beetles.  We don’t understand why you had such a sighting, unless you have an earthen floor in the basement or there was a dead animal somewhere in your home that acted as a breeding ground for this group of beetles.  The feeding melee that resulted after one individual was injured was a very interesting observation.  They are probably very hungry and just want to get out of the house.

Burying Beetle Melee

Burying Beetle Melee

Thank you so much Daniel.  I have been digging out my 100+ year old foundation, and I have found some quite large burrying holes around the exterior of the house.  Although I do have many grass snakes that take care of my rodent (non-issues).  Plus there are bats, hawks owls and eagles here, so the odds of finding dead rodents are probable.
Thanks for having your site!
Alex.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Parasitic larvae explode from lizard a la Alien
Location: Gainesville, Fl
August 25, 2013 8:49 am
So my friend found an ailing lizard (Anolis carolinensis) yesterday in north-central Florida. He thought it might die, so he took it with him in some sort of rescue attempt. Anyway, he looks at it an hour later, the lizard was dead, and the small black dot behind the lizard’s front leg had exploded into a gaping hole filled with large wriggling larvae of some sort. It certainly appears as though they were trying to escape after their host had died. He knew I’m into reptiles, so he showed it to me. The lizard was quite familiar, but the parasites less so. They look kind of like maggots to me, but most fly maggots are in dead things, when these were clearly inside the living lizard and killed it.
Signature: lizard guy

Lizard with Maggots

Lizard with Maggots

Dear lizard guy,
We agree that these look like maggots, but we do not know of any flies that parasitize lizards.  We will continue to do some research, but we are posting your letter and photos in the hope that one of our readers can come to our assistance.

Maggots emerge from Lizard

Maggots emerge from Lizard

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Diogmites salutans (I think)
Location: Ocala, FL
August 2, 2013 10:53 am
I got lucky today and this guy landed on the fence right by me to devour his waspish meal. I believe he is a Diogmites salutans. I thought you might enjoy the photo, it was great to get to watch this strange creature. We are in Ocala, Florida and I get a lot of wasps feeding on my Spanish Needles but this is only the second time I’ve seen a Robber Fly.
Signature: Jenifer in Ocala

Hanging Thief eats its prey

Hanging Thief eats its prey

Dear Jenifer,
Thanks to your photo, it is easy to see how Hanging Thieves in the genus
Diogmites get their common name.  While we cannot confirm the species, you have correctly identified the distinctive genus for this Robber Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination