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

Mormon Cricket Eating A Grasshopper
Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 4:37 PM
Here’s a photo of a Mormon Cricket eating grasshopper roadkill. It was on a dirt road in the mountains of Southern Idaho. It might work into Bug Carnage…
Also include a side shot of a Mormon Cricket on the same road.
Congrats on the site redesign!
Rush
Mountain Home, Idaho, USA

Mormon Cricket eats Grasshopper Roadkill

Mormon Cricket eats Grasshopper Roadkill

Hi Rush,
Your photos are both positively gorgeous.  Mormon Crickets are omnivorous feeders.  They are credited with destroying crops, but they will also cannibalize one another if there is no other food.  That dead grasshopper was just too appealing to be passed by.  Your profile shot shows the impressive swordlike ovipositor of the female Mormon Cricket.  For clarification, our Unnecessary Carnage section is reserved for the deliberate killing of insects by people for no apparent reason.  Thanks for the compliment on our new site design.

Female Mormon Cricket

Female Mormon Cricket

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider carrying orange orbs
Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 6:53 AM
I found this spider while digging a trench in my lawn in April, 2008. There was no web in sight. The spider seemed to be just walking along. My first thought was that it was carrying it’s eggs somewhere. I took a few pictures, then continued with my trench. After a few days, I began to wonder exactly what kind of spider it was and what it was doing, but haven’t been able to find out any more information. Thanks for your help.
TJ1028
Coastal southern California

Harvestman with Parasitic Mites

Harvestman with Parasitic Mites

Hi TJ1028,
Your spider is actually another type of Arachnid in the order Opiliones, commonly called a Harvestman or Daddy-Long-Legs.  The orange orbs appear to be Parasitic Mites in the genus Leptus.  We originally thought the Mites were merely hitching a ride, a phenomenon known as Phoresy, but a search of BugGuide revealed the parasitic nature of the Mites.  There is some good dialog contributed by the BugGuide readership on the genus Leptus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

praying mantis eating a wheel bug, unknown eggs
Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 9:12 PM
HELLO BUGMAN!
Just wanted to share this week’s playground “show” of a praying mantis DEVOURING a wheel bug. The class watched in horror/amazement. We had just seen our first wheel bug of this school year the day before.
We are also including a hatching photo we took this August. The eggs were stuck to the brick wall outside our classroom and we watched daily to see what was going to happen. We’d loved to know what was coming out! Thank you so much for your help!
Always looking for bugs,
Fours and fives in PA
Southeastern PA

Preying Mantis eats Wheel Bug

Preying Mantis eats Wheel Bug

Dear Teacher of Fours and Fives in PA,
We are gladdened to see that you have taken your classwork home and that your students will be able to find their answers online next week.  Our only request is that in the future, you please don’t include multiple postings in one letter as it jumbles our already voluminous archives.  Your Mantis photo is awesome in that it shows the Mantis devouring another beneficial predator.  If the statistics were available, they might reveal that, since it pretty much sits higher up on the food chain, the Mantis may eat more beneficial insects than problematic ones.  Since Mantids are often found on flowering plants, they consume their share of pollinators.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cicada Killer Having Snack in WV
Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 6:30 PM
These killers surrounded us this summer in Springfield, West Virginia. They like to burrow (?) in the ground – they make little holes like moles and they seemed to have made their home about 50 yards from the river, in a field, with fruit & nut trees. They like to fly at us, but then swerve real quick. We’ve seen them close to 3 inches in length! This little bugger brought down the cicada right in front of me. LOVE THE SITE! I’ve learned sooooooo much!
Julie & Steve
Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia

Cicada Killer and Prey

Cicada Killer and Prey

Hi Julie and Steve,
Thanks for your contribution to our archive of a Cicada Killer and its prey. We should clarify though that that adult Cicada Killers feed on nectar and that the Cicada is not food for the adult. The female Cicada Killer provisions her nest with a paralyzed Cicadas and then lays a single egg on each. The Cicada is a meal for the developing larva. The life cycle is expained on BugGuide in the following manner: “In two or three days after egg laying, a wasp larva will hatch from the egg. The larva immediately begins eating the cicada. When the larva finishes the cicada, leaving only the outer shell (about two weeks), it will then spin a coccoon and hibernate until the following Spring. In the Spring, the larva will leave its coccoon and become a pupa (resting stage). From the pupa, an adult Cicada Killer will hatch. It will dig its way out of the ground and look for a mate. Male wasps die shortly after mating. Females die after laying all of their eggs. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Canibal – Image 4 of approx. 35
Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 3:16 PM
Hi!
Don’t know if you want – but here is a image of a Canibal Dragonfly. This was shortly after it bit the head off it’s meal. This is the 4th shot taken out of approx. 35 Hope you can use! Thank’s Again!!! and Have a Great Day!
Brent Hansen
Pinellas County Florida

Green Darner eats Green Darner

Eastern Pondhawk eats Blue Dasher

Hi again Brent,
It seems that both the predator and prey are Green Darners. We wholeheartedly welcome any comments or corrections on this posting.

When I spotted the two on a Hibiscus – I thought they were mating.
Then – right in front of my eyes – I saw one bite the head off the
other. They flew to the fence at the side of my yard – and that was
where I got my best shots. It sat and ate almost all of the other
Dragonfly before flying away to finish it off.
Dragonflies that I have observed in my backyard are voracious
predators. I was trying to photograph a Green Leaf Hopper on my hand.
It flew away and a Dragonfly whizzed in and snatched it out of the
air. I have shots of that Dragonfly munching the Leaf Hopper.
At certain times of year here – they swarm the pool in our backyard.I
have images of Blues ,Reds ,Golds and Greens. Those were the only ones
that sat still long enough.
But – I sure would not want one mad at me – if you look closely at the
jaw – you will see “TWO” sets of chompers. There is a smaller set to
the top and a larger set to the bottom. If ants can inflict a welt
from their tiny jaws – then I think these guys can literally cut a
nice chunk out of your skin.I am now a little leary letting one rest
on my hand and fingers.
If you would like some other colored images of these Dragonflies – let
me know – I have a couple close up head shots that really show the
texture of the eyes and upper body.
Have a Great Day!
Brent

Correction:Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 12:05 AM
If I may add a correction, the upper one is a male of Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicollis), which is well known to pray on insects of its own size, as well as for cannibalism, but in this case it’s rather a Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis).
I hope this helps.
Renaud, Switzerland

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

spider wrapping large prey
Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 10:45 PM
dear bugman,
haven’t heard back about the previous ID but i found what is seemingly a different golden orb weaver in the tomatoes again and wanted to share these photos. i think it’s a different spider because the markings are distinctly different, but it seems to be the same type. still not quite sure about the golden orb weaver ID for these two even though it seems to match because their markings look a bit atypical.
at this point i am just curious (plus i enjoy photographing interesting insects), and mostly wanted to share these up-close-and-personal pics of this spider wrapping her prey (a large grasshopper).
thank you, i appreciate your site. take care,
rayna

Banded Orbweaver eats Grasshopper

Banded Orbweaver eats Grasshopper

Hi Rayna,
Your spider is a Banded Orbweaver, whereas your previous spider is a Golden Orbweaver.  This is an awesome image of the Banded Orbweaver and its Grasshopper prey.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination