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

slug?
My daughter found this creature crawling on a rotting stick in the woods in Southwest Missouri. We initially thought it was a caterpillar, but see that it moves like a slug or snail. It also appears to have antennae at the front like a slug, but similar protrusions all along its body. Are the white things on its back eggs, or perhaps parasites? It is approximately 3/4 inch long.

This is one of the Slug Caterpillars in the family Limacodidae. We believe it is a Spiny Oak Slug, Euclea delphinii. The “eggs” are really Brachonid Pupa, a parasite that feeds on the caterpillar’s inner tissues.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider with hummingbird
Hey Bugman,
Like everybody else I love this site!! I came home from work yesterday and saw this carnage outside my bedroom window. I had been watching this Golden-Orb Weaver (I call it the zig-zag spider) for days but was shocked at the attached picture. As I lifted the shade to get a better look at the female ruby throated hummingbird I also saw a poor cicada was also trapped in the spiders web. Needless to say this spider will not be hungry for many days. Just thought you might enjoy this picture. Didn’t know if you had ever seen anything like this before. This all took place in College Station, Texas.
Donell S. Frank

Hi Donell,
We are a bit nervous to post your photos (though that won’t stop us) because we fear that they might bring about the demise of numerous Black and Yellow Orb Weavers, Argiope aurantia. This is a most unusual catch for this regal spider, and we know that the nature loving public has a particular fondness for hummingbirds. Nonetheless, this is quite an amazing documentation. Thank you so much for sending the images our way.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider Vs Dragonfly
Your website is great… I took these pictures in my back yard and thought you might like them for your site. I’m not sure what kind of spider it is but it looks cool! Keep up the great work! Thanks,
Rick M.
Upstate, South Carolina

Hi Rick,
All we can say is WOW. What amazing images you have taken. Your spider is a female Green Lynx, Peucetia viridans. Green Lynx Spiders do not build webs. They pounce on their prey, which generally consists of pollinating insects including flies, bees, wasps and butterflies. Your spider has captured quite an enormous meal, one of the Pennant Dragonflies in the genus Celithemis, probably the Calico Pennant, Celithemis elisa which is pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

cricket eating big black bee?
Hi,
I stumbled onto your web site and figured I’d ask you what the heck is this big black bee, and why is it eating a cricket? I got a picture of it dragging it into it’s hole in the ground. What is it?
Andy from Upstate, NY

Hi Andy,
Your bee is actually a wasp known as a Cricket Hunter. Ironically, it has captured a Katydid, not a cricket. The wasp will not eat the Katydid, but instead lay an egg on its paralyzed body. The larval wasp then has a fresh supply of meat. Like most wasps, the adult Cricket Hunters feed on nectar and pollen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what kind of caterpiller is this ???????
i found this catapiller on a bell pepper plant in my yard in jacksonville NC..was wondering what are the white things on it and what type is it and does it turn into a butterfly??
julie – jacksonville nc

Hi Julie,
Your Tobacco Hornworm Caterpillar, Manduca sexta, has been parasitized by a Brachonid Wasp that laid her eggs inside the caterpillar. The larval wasps fed on non-vital tissues and have now formed pupae of the surface of the caterpillar. The pupae will hatch into adult wasps and the caterpillar will die, never maturing into an adult Hawkmoth, the Carolina Sphinx. According to BugGuide: “Larva: large green body; dorsal “horn” (usually curved and orange, pink or red) on terminal abdominal segment; up to seven oblique whitish lateral lines, edged with black on upper borders. The similar Tomato Hornworm, Maduca quinquemaculata, has eight v-shaped stripes and a straight blue-black horn. These caterpillars are often confused and misidentified.” Growing up, we referred to this as a Tomato Hornworm or Tomato Bug. We have received numerous images of Brachonid parasitized caterpillars recently, and are posting your letter and image as an excellent example.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

EATING Preying Mantis PIC AWESOME
Dear Bugman,
Our garden is always chock full of Preying Mantis’. It took me three years, but I finally saw one eating something! Looks like he caught some sort of caterpillar and was sucking out the inners while holding him in his grasp. Quite an awesome show, I must say!
Rich
Cincinnati, Ohio

Hi Rich,
We have been meaning to post your wonderful image for several days, but we are constantly barraged by new emails and you got lost in the shuffle. We believe this is a Chinese Mantid, Tenodera aridifolia, but would welcome an expert opinion regarding the identification. The caterpillar is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination