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

What is going on here?
This creature landed on my window long enough for me to take the picture and then flew off for parts unknown. What captured the wasp? I overexposed the print for more detail.
Lauren Birthisel
Fort Worth, Texas

Hi Lauren,
We do not have the necessary skills to count wing veins nor antennae segments to exactly identify the insects in your photo, and the angle is an unusual one for comparison to usual photographs. We would wager this is a Robber Fly, but are not confident enough to take the ID any further. We will try to contact Eric Eaton to get his opinion on both the fly and wasp.

Update: (03/26/2008)
Hi, Daniel:
The fly is a robber fly in the genus Mallophora. The victim is a paper wasp in the genus Polistes.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

spider fight
I love your site, and frequently recommend it. I have several pictures I want to send you, but I guess I should start with these since I don’t know what one of the spiders is. The Wooodlose/Sowbug killer I know from seeing it on your site. The big black one looks a little bit like a trapdoor spider, but not enough for me to think it is one. I have seen several of them in my basement apartment, living in the walls or under the toilet. I have seen them making their rapid way across the floor in my bedroom and bathroom. They are quite large for this area, at least as big as a large Garden spider. Any ideas? I live in Toronto, Ontario. These pictures depict an exciting and epic battle between a sickly Woodlouse spider and a huge dude who came out of my wall. The outcome was never really in doubt. The Woodlouse spider, with his misshapen abdomen and lethargic movements, was no match for the black spider. Even on a good day he would have been outmatched. Red got bitten in the legs a few times and dragged back into the wall. My sister describes this encounter as her ‘worst nightmare.’ I have a lot more photos of this battle. Thanks for any help you might be able to give. Through your site I have identified most of the critters I have found in my apartment.
Tara Murphy

Hi Tara,
Sorry about the delay. Since we knew we would have difficulty with a correct identification, we posted some easier responses ahead of you, but the rivotting imagery you provided stayed in the back of our minds waiting to post this letter. So, we have no answer for you, but are thrilled to post your images in the hopes that someone out there can identify the victor.

Update: (03/26/2008)
Hi, Daniel:
The male sowbug killer is being attacked by a hacklemesh weaver in the family Amaurobiidae, not sure which genus. Wicked fangs on both!
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what’s on this io moth caterpillar
Hello Mr. Bugman,
I collect these io moth caterpillars after they get just ready to cacoon, and place them in jars with the leaves if the trees they are on for my kids to watch. Yes, I told them about how long the stinging of touching one of them lasts for a week and that it’s like 100 times worse then a bee or wasp sting. (I know it’s kinda the truth, but stretching a wee bit, puts my point across to them..ages 10yr & 11yr) So they know it’s worth the wait for the io moth. Well, I came across one of three and it has what looks like some sort of eggs have been laid on the io moth caterpillar. It is still alive, but only the third of the size of the other two. Can you please tell me what these eggs are and what the eggs will turn into. I searched on the internet for io moth caterpillar enemies, but found nothing. 2 Photos attached. Thanks,
Judi
Bradenton, FL

Dear Bugman,
I discovered the contents of the eggs (cocoons), they are little wasps(photo attached), and a normal sized io moth caterpillar(photo attached)…The one with the eggs attached is 1 1/2" in size. I found three others just the same with the eggs and quarantined them in a separate jar from the other io moth caterpillars. Thanks,
Judi
Bradenton, FL

Dear Bugman,
Determined, I did more searching..I finally came up with searching "wasps that use caterpillars as hosts" and viewed the images via google search. It says that it is Cotesia congregata. Can you verify this for me? Thanks,
Judi
Bradenton, FL

Hi Judi,
We are very sorry it has taken us so long to contact you, but we have been busy. You searched your way to the correct answer, in a manner of sorts. We would have told you your Io Caterpillar was parasitized by Braconid Wasps. Cotesia congregata is a Braconid Wasp, but it might be species specific to the Tobacco Sphinx, Manduca sexta. We are not certain if the Braconid that parasitizes the Io Moth is species specific. We are not skilled enough to determine your exact species based on the photo of the wasp. That would take a specialist in parasitic wasps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

African Assassins
Hiya from Mossel Bay, South Africa. I thought you might be interested in these assassin bug nymphs (Ectrichodia crux) feeding on a millipede. It looks so organised! Kind regards
Sally

Hi Sally,
Over the years, we have received a few truly memorable Food Chain images, and this is one of the best. Thanks so much for sending us your image of a “pack” of immature Assassin Bugs feeding on a Millipede. More research led us to a photo of an adult Ectrichodia crux, and the common name Millipede Assassin Bug. We promptly located another photo of an adult. We will contact Rowland Shelley, who identified all of our Millipedes, to see if he knows the Millipede species. Here is his response: “The milliped could be one of several things, but I’d say it’s a representative of the family Spirostreptidae, order Spirostreptida. Best I can do. Rowland”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Food Chain Pic
Hi Guys,
It has been a bumper year down under for Golden Orb Weavers, I have never seen so many in any year before. This lady is enjoying a tasty cicada. In this pic you can clearly see the golden colour of the web that gives them the name. Taken February 10 2008, Boondal Wetlands, Queensland.
Keep up the great work.
Trevor Jinks
Australia

Hi Trevor,
We can always count on you for a great photo. We believe your Golden Orb Weaver is Nephila edulis, though there are several other species in the genus found in Australia. This is a great addition to our Food Chain pages.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wolf Spider Eating Gekko 4 inches accross
I have submitted my photos before my friend loves your site and asked me to submit again. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbatt/943440659/in/photostream/ this has the picture and the story and there are more photos that you are free to put up on your site. “So I moved a sawhorse in my shed and a medium large Gecko lizard went scurrying toward the corner of the shed. It’s not unusual to see lizards and geckos in my yard. Geckos are very fast and I have never been able to take a picture of one. But this Gecko stopped behind a lawn chair so being curious I pulled the chair back to revel the Gecko on it’s back tail wiggling like a worm. Thats odd I thought so I looked closer and there to my amazement was the Largest Wolf spider I have ever seen. It caught the Gecko while it was running and had a firm grasp of it’s neck. At first I was startled but my next thought was Where is my camera? I got the camera and in that time the spider had moved up the wall with the gecko in it’s mouth. … I grabed the tape measure for a size reference I didn’t get too close with it I didn’t want to scare the spider off. The tape is a couple inches closer to the camera than the spider but it’s close enough to be a good measure of the spider. “
MattBatt

Hi MattBatt,
First, let us apologize for missing your photos the first time you sent them. We cannot even read every letter we receive. Your photos are great, but they are not a Wolf Spider. This is a Giant Crab Spider, probably in the genus Olios. Sadly, you did not provide us with a location.

So sorry I live in Orlando FL I have several large oak trees in the back yard so it’s nice and damp and dark back there. I have not seen the spider since the day after when she was fat and happy. My mother and wife continue to harass me about the fact that I didn’t kill the spider. Thank You for Identifying it. I looked at the pics of the crab spider and wolf spider but couldn’t make an ID on my own. Thanks
MattBatt

Hi again MattBatt,
Thanks for the information. In a most general way, our identification has not changed, but now we believe your Giant Crab Spider might be a female Heteropoda venatoria, also known as a Huntsman Spider or a Banana Spider, two names also shared with different species. We located a photo on BugGuide that matches yours and also one on a Florida Nature website. While this is definitely a Giant Crab Spider, we cannot be certain of the species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination