Currently viewing the category: "attack of the fungus"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp of some kind
Location: North Carolina
October 18, 2015 7:12 am
Hey bugman , just wondering what type of bug is this??
Signature: Ace

Paper Wasp consumed by Fungus

Paper Wasp consumed by Fungus

Dear Ace,
This insect is a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes, however, its appearance has been altered by a fungus infection that eventually killed the wasp.  This is, to the best of our knowledge, the only image we have on our site of a Paper Wasp consumed by fungus, but we do have images of a Tarantula attacked by Fungus, Cellar Spiders with Fungus Infections and a Raspy Cricket with a Fungus Infection.  Here is an interesting article from National Geographic on Mind Control Fungus and there is also a National Geographic image of a wasp infested with fungus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is going on – two photos?
Location: Essex, UK
August 31, 2015 10:38 am
I photographed these at Thameside Nature Park on 30 August.
The fly appears to be sitting on a nest apparently containing tiny youngsters – and with a trapdoor at the end. Has the fly been caught and left as food for the youngsters? Is it eating them itself?
These is also this strange red thing which appears to be spinning itself a cacoon.
Signature: Karenina

Tachinid Fly Emerges from Puparium

Tachinid Fly Emerges from Puparium

Dear Karenina,
We believe this is a Tachinid Fly, a parasitoid, and we believe your image might have something to do with the adult Tachinid Fly emerging from its host insect.  The other image might have something to do with fungus.  This is all conjecture and we eagerly welcome any additional information.

Possibly a Fungus

Possibly a Fungus

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Morphing Pods
Location: John Bryan State Park – Yellow Springs, OH
June 7, 2015 9:06 am
I live in Ohio and was walking through the woods on May 17th. We were down by the creek and on the over hanging rocks we found these strange pods. Some looked like they could be scale bugs but as we examined more we could see the cycle unfold. The pale off white dripping pods eventually turned into so sort of flying insect. Could you shed any light on what sort of creatures they could be?
Thank you!
Signature: Curious Naturalist

Mystery Insects

Mystery Insects may be Fungus Infection

Dear Curious Naturalist,
We wish you had better quality images.  We do not know what is going on here, but it appears there are several different species of insects along with what you are calling “Morphing Pods”, and we have not been able to find anything similar looking online.  The larger white bodies insects with dark markings and wings do not look familiar to us, but hopefully one of our readers will be able to provide some information.  Can you provide any additional information regarding the size of the things in question?

Mystery

Fungus Infection

Mystery

Fungus Infection

I am sorry about the quality I only had my phone on my at the time. They were no bigger than a small fingernail. It was almost as if they were globs sprouting wings, then eyes and so on. At first I thought it was the early life cycle of another insect I had seen but I am an amateur and can not tell if they are similar enough. here is what I thought they MIGHT turn into.  Thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this mystery.

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Thanks for the additional information.  The new image you provided is a Golden Backed Snipe Fly and we don’t believe it has any connection to the pods you observed.

Eric Eaton confirms our own suspicion
Daniel:
I’m thinking the “cycle” is the other way around.  It looks clear to me that these are midges that have become infected with some kind of entomopathic fungus.  This is certainly well-documented in other flies, but I haven’t seen a group effect like this before.
Eric

Thanks so much Eric,
We had pondered the possibility that this might be a fungus.  Thanks for the confirmation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this
Location: Cleburne, Tx (north central , Tx
March 29, 2015 7:42 pm
This showed up on a plant in my kitchen. I am in Cleburne,tx. It has been there about a week. It is attached at the top and bottom.
Signature: Bekah White

Probably Fungus

Probably Fungus

Dear Bekah,
We do not believe this phenomena is insect related.  Our best guess is that it is some type of fungus.

Fungus we suppose

Fungus we suppose

Possibly a Fungus

Possibly a Fungus

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Poisonous to Humans?
October 11, 2014 3:37 am
I just had to destroy all my Tomato plants because of a mass infestation of HUGE  Leaf Footed Plant
Bugs. There were 7-8 of these bugs on ONE Tomato–many Tomatoes.  I only had 7 Tomato Plants in containers, but they COVERED them all. I live in the desert of Las Vegas, Nevada, and everything I’ve read about them says they are not on this side of the country! The Nevada Extension says they are rare, but not unheard of.   They are now on my Bell Peppers, though not nearly as many.
However, I cannot find out if the toxic enzyme that they inject into the fruit , also allowing pathogens into the fruit safe for human consumption.  I can’t see any obvious damage, and I am very diligent about keeping them off the Bell Peppers.  I don’t want to get myself or family sick. Do you know if they’re poisonous?
Your quick response would be greatly appreciated.     Thank You,  Diane Huff
Signature: Diane Huff

though the damage to fruit is unsightly, and probably does not taste very good, to the best of our knowledge, the enzymes injected will not negatively affect the health of a human.

Dear Mr. Marlos,
Thank you so very much for your VERY quick reply!  You’re the first person to commit to any other reply than, ” I don’t know”.
I feel much better about preparing my family a Stuffed Pepper dinner, with a salad containing raw peppers.
What do you know about “Anthracnose” fungus on Bell Pepper leaves? I know that’s not a bug, and I see NO lesions on the peppers
like I see in all the photos that I’ve researched online.  The small damage is only on the leaves and maybe a tiny bit on a mark
on a very few of the peppers.
I probably have no right to ask you about fungi, but all I get everywhere else is “I don’t know”. If you do not, I figured it couldn’t
hurt to ask, could it?      Sorry if it is…
Again, I thank you so very much—you’re the best!!!
Diane Huff

Hi Diane,
We actually gave you a very quick response without any research, and now we feel we need to remedy that.  We hunted our archives to find appropriate images to illustrate your questions since you did not provide any images.  We can tell you that we personally have eaten pomegranates that fed Leaf Footed Bugs, and we did not suffer any ill effects, though we did not eat the parts of the fruit that looked bad, dried out and generally unappetizing.  We have been buying oranges that are eerily dry in some parts, and we suspect that Leaf Footed Bugs might be the cause, but since we just juice the oranges, and we don’t have to eat the dried parts, other than getting less juice from an orange, we haven’t noticed a difference in flavor.
  We don’t know anything about the fungus, but perhaps one of our readers will comment.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Another example of Tachinid Fly with Fungus Infection??
Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom
October 6, 2014 3:21 am
Hi all,
I think this is another example (found 6th October 2014) of a Tachinid Fly with the pathogenic fungus Enthomphthora Muscae, it just looks as if it flew straight into my back door and died on impact. Possibly the same as on your web page:  https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2009/12/25/tachinid-fly-we-believe/
Can you please confirm that it is a Tachinid Fly? As I don’t believe there are any ‘natural’ black and white stripped fly’s here in the UK that look like this one.
Kind regards
Signature: Milly – Birmingham (UK)

Tachinid Fly with Fungus Infection

Tachinid Fly with Fungus Infection

Hi Millie,
We agree with both your identification and your diagnosis.  As Karl indicated in the link you provided:  “There are numerous photos on the internet that look very similar to this this. The white banding occurs as the fungus bursts out between the abdominal segments (presumably just before the victim expires).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination