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

Subject: Blue-eyed Robber Fly (Megaphorus megachile?)
Location: Yallowstone National Park, Wyoming
August 17, 2013 3:14 pm
Hi Daniel!
Just back from Yellowstone/Grand Teton – a spectacular vacation. I saw lots of beautiful winged creatures, but this little blue-eyed fly caught my attention. I am pretty sure it’s a robber fly, and I am pretty sure it’s clutching some prey. I apologize for the bad photo, but it let me get one shot from a distance before it took off. I hope all is well with you!
Signature: Dori Eldridge

Robber Fly with Prey

Robber Fly with Prey

Hi Dori,
We cannot say for certain which species of Robber Fly you have photographed, however we do agree that based on images posted to BugGuide, this looks very similar to the members of the genus
Megaphorus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue Dasher with — eggs?
Location: NH, USA
July 20, 2013 9:01 pm
Dragonfly (I think it’s a Blue Dasher). I’m wondering what the little red spheroids are. Are they insect eggs? Was it parasitized by something?
Signature: Joel Stave

Water Mite Larvae on Dragonfly

Water Mite Larvae on Blue Dasher

Dear Joel,
Dragonflies are frequently hosts to Ectoparasitic Water Mite larvae that attach themselves to the Dragonfly while it is still an aquatic naiad.  The Northwest Dragonflier website maintains that when the naiad molts into a winged adult, the larval Water Mites in the genus
Arrenurus crawl from the cast off exuvia onto the still soft body of the winged adult and attach themselves as ectoparasites.  They derive both nourishment from this and the advantage of transportation to a new body of water where they can drop off and mature.  Light infestations do not negatively impact the Dragonfly much, but heavy infestations can be very detrimental to the adult Dragonfly.  Here is another simple explanation on Taos Telecommunity.  We believe you are correct that this is a Blue Dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis, based on photos posted to BugGuide

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: killer fly
Location: northern mi
June 21, 2013 8:32 am
I thinkthisis a killer fly eating a rosebug. I have never seen one with yellow . Thanks for your time
Jeffrey Pomeroy
Signature: jeffrey pomeroy

Robber Fly eats Japanese Beetle

Robber Fly eats Japanese Beetle

Dear Jeffrey,
The predator in your photo is a Robber Fly and many species of Robber Flies are black and yellow, which makes them effective mimics of Bumble Bees.  The prey in your photo is the invasive, exotic Japanese Beetle which does feed on roses.  When they are plentiful, Japanese Beetles can do major damage to foliage and blossoms of roses and hundreds of other ornamental and garden plants.  Our mother who is an avid gardener refers to the damage caused by Japanese Beetles as “lace doilies” because of the numerous holes in leaves which causes them to resemble lace when only the veins remain.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: I named him Ryno
Location: Costa rica Jungle
April 27, 2013 5:07 pm
This is a little friend I found deep in the Jungle in Costa Rica. Anyone who what he is?
Signature: Ryno

What's That Caterpillar???

What’s That Caterpillar???

Dear Ryno,
We do not recognize this unusual looking caterpillar.  Generally Butterfly Caterpillars are not hairy, but we suspect this might be a Nymphalid Caterpillar.

Keith Wolfe responds to our identification request
Greetings “Ryno” and Daniel, this is a last-instar Caligo atreus (http://janzen.sas.upenn.edu/caterpillars/dblinks/searchplaycat4.lasso?-Search=GCAcaterpillars337&herbivore%20species=atreus).  Note the numerous white tachinid (http://www.nadsdiptera.org/Tach/Gen/tachintr.htm) eggs behind the head capsule, the inevitable doom of which it might possibly escape if pupation occurs before the maggots hatch.
Best wishes,
Keith

Hi Keith,
Thanks for getting back to us on this.  We didn’t realize those were Tachinid Fly eggs.  Good to know.  We hope this Owl Butterfly Caterpillar escapes being eaten alive by the fly larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug in backyard
Location: Stafford Tx. USA
April 24, 2013 12:06 pm
I live in Stafford TX and found this critter in my yard on a piece of iron…what is it??? Should we run !!!
Signature: Randy

Possibly Underwing Caterpillar, possibly Parasitized by Wasps

Possibly Underwing Caterpillar, possibly Parasitized by Wasps

Dear Randy,
This is a most curious set of photos, and we are requesting assistance from Eric Eaton prior to posting.  This is a Caterpillar and we believe it might be an Underwing Caterpillar in the genus
Catocala.  They grow quite large.  You can also compare your image to this photo of an Underwing Caterpillar on BugGuide.  We are most curious about the surrounding objects.  They look like the pupae of parasitic Wasps known as Braconids.  The wasps are generally quite species specific.  Here is a photo from our archive of a Hornworm parasitized by Braconids.  The curious thing about your photo is that the pupae are not attached to the caterpillar.  Again, we hope to get a more professional opinion for you.

Underwing Caterpillar and possible Parasites

Underwing Caterpillar and possible Parasites

Daniel:
I’m not an expert on caterpillars, but I think your scenario is right on.  Definitely braconid pupae.  This would be something interesting for Bugguide, and maybe someone else there knows more.
As of yesterday I am now writing blogs (ghostwriting, actually) for The Blogger Pool for a major third party client in the pest control industry.  So, I may not always get back to you as quickly as usual.  Plus, my wife and I are visiting her family out of state May 5-13, just so you know I won’t be online very often then.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider Wasp
Location: White River, South Africa
April 19, 2013 6:58 am
Hi Bugman
Thanks for your reply. As it happens I did take some photographs. My wife has most of the shots and it going to try and upgrade the quality of the photos, but I have attached three in their original state for your perusal.
Signature: Steve

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Spider Wasp with Huntsman Spider

Dear Steve,
Thank you so much for writing back and providing photos to the comment you posted on the Spider Wasp from South Africa posting.  Many Spider Wasps have a
metallic sheen and we are curious if your personal observations included the purplish color of the posting you commented upon.  We get most of our Spider Wasp and Huntsman Spider submissions from Australia.  We are running a bit late this morning, but we will try to identify this species of Spider Wasp in the near future.  Your photos are wonderful.  We believe that the Spider Wasp might be dragging the Spider up the wall in an effort to glide as far as possible.  The wasp could never get off the ground with such a heavy payload, but by taking off from a higher elevation, she can still make use of flight to return to her burrow.

Spider Wasp with Rain Spider

Spider Wasp with Rain Spider

Thank you for reminding us that Huntsman Spiders are known as Rain Spiders in some parts of their range.  Your previous comment mentioned the pain of the sting.  Do you know this firsthand.  North American Tarantula Hawks, another large group of Spider Wasps, are also reported to have among the most painful stings of any insect.

Spider Wasp with Rain Spider

Spider Wasp with Rain Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination