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

Subject:  Oblong Winked Katydid eating dried up minnow?
Geographic location of the bug:  Evergreen Park Illinois
Date: 09/14/2017
Time: 02:28 PM EDT
I had a minnow die on me so I put it on the yew just to see if any yellow jackets would come by and feed on it. Fast forward about a week and I saw what I believe is an Oblong-Winged Katydid chewing on the dried up minnow. Guess she needed some protein in her diet!
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks!

Katydid eats Minnow

Though most Katydids are thought of as plant eaters, there are many omnivorous species.  Your image indicates that they may be opportunistic, feeding on animal protein when it is available.  We actually believe your Katydid is a Bush Katydid in the genus Scudderia, and the ovipositor indicates it is a female.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  nest
Geographic location of the bug:  Florida
Date: 09/13/2017
Time: 02:17 PM EDT
Please help me identify this “nest” that we found on a Philodendron leaf. We are guessing some kind of parasitic wasp.
How you want your letter signed:  Florida

Parasitized Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Florida,
We found a similar looking image on BugGuide identified as a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Dasychira that has been parasitized, but the Parasitoid was not identified.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hornet eating strange bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Portland, Oregon
Date: 09/11/2017
Time: 05:27 PM EDT
I was curious what bug is being eaten, I’ve never seen one before.
How you want your letter signed:  Heather lux

Yellow Jacket preys upon Bot Fly

Dear Heather,
The prey in your image is a Rodent Bot Fly, and the predator appears to be a Yellowjacket, a close relative of Hornets.  Adult Yellowjackets prey upon various insects, especially caterpillars, to feed to larvae that are developing in the paper nest they build.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  California Mantis patrolling my Woody Plant captures marauding Grasshopper
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  09/09/2017
Time:  10:37 AM EDT
Dear Bugman,
Last week I sent you pictures of the female California Mantis that is patrolling my Woody Plant.  Well, today I am happy to report that she is doing her job.  I found her eating this large green grasshopper.  I wish I could have seen the actual capture, but I didn’t arrive until after the Grasshopper had its head eaten away.  Much earlier in the summer, I removed some small green Grasshoppers that you identified as a Gray Bird Grasshopper, a funny name since it was green.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Female California Mantis eats Gray Bird Grasshopper nymph

Dear Constant Gardener,
The prey in your image is indeed a Gray Bird Grasshopper nymph, and it is much larger than the individual in your submission from early July of a Gray Bird Grasshopper nymph.  The reason these green nymphs are called Gray Bird Grasshoppers is because that is the color of the mature adult.  Nymphs feeding on fresh green leaves need to blend in or they will be eaten.  Your female California Mantis is beautifully camouflaged among the leaves of your plant, especially when she is downwardly hanging.

Thanks Bugman,
Do you have any further advice regarding caring for my guard insect?

Hi again Constant Gardener,
If a mature, mated California Mantis finds a safe plant where the hunting is good, she will remain there.  She will eventually produce and attach to woody stems, several oothecae, the egg cases that each contain dozens of eggs that will hatch into mantidlings in the spring.  When you harvest, keep a diligent eye peeled for the oothecae.  In our own garden, we tie the oothecae we discover while pruning in the fall and winter onto trees and shrubs where we would like to have predators that keep injurious species at bay.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Update on Grass Carrying Wasp from France
Location:  southwest France
August 29, 2017 8:05 AM
Hi Daniel,
Further to recent contacts, I have, at last, managed to get some half decent shots of the grass carrying wasps nesting in our patio table.
They have been pretty active these past few days – maybe the 35+ degree heat has turned them on – but they catch me out every time I have no camera ready. It really is a struggle to film them as they arrive and disappear to their nest(s) in no time at all.
However, the attached pics show one with a small cricket or grasshopper of some description and another close-up or the wasp just landing on the table.
I hope they are of sufficient quality to be of interest. I am still waiting for the shot of the wasp actually ‘doing what it says on the tin’ and carrying a piece of grass to the nest. I have been close a few times and will get it one day, although I figure nesting may well be approaching the end with the impending onset of autumn.
We have also noticed recent activity in the table by what I believe are some form of robber or parasitic wasp. The first one looked VERY like a large horsefly, the subsequent visitors more like a regular small brown wasp. Again, I have not been able to capture them on camera so I can’t ID them any better than that I’m afraid. The interesting thing is that they have been bringing in small crickets and the like, using the same holes as the grass carrying wasps. I don’t know whether they are nesting on their own behalf or feeding the larvae of the GCW’s for the benefit of their own offspring. The two species met on one visit to the nest entrance. The prey was jettisoned and there was an interesting ‘face-off’ with the larger, GCW probably winning on points I would say.
One final note on the GCW – it dropped its cricket on the table before landing at the nest hole and it was clearly evident that the prey was not dead, merely anaesthetised, as there were distinct signs of movement in both the legs and the ovipositor. I have no idea how long it is, following the bite, before they die  but this one didn’t seem to last more than a few minutes before it (seemingly) expired.
Thanks as ever for all you do to enlighten us on these matters. My wife thinks I spend an “unreasonable” amount of time perusing the site but she’s quite getting into our little wasp friends and alerts me now when one is ‘incoming’. There’s hope yet!
All the best,

Grass Carrying Wasp with Prey

Dear Robin,
Your diligence has paid off.  We love the image of the Grass Carrying Wasp with its Tree Cricket prey.

Grass Carrying Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug eating yellow jacket
Location: Just east of Toledo Ohio
August 18, 2017 2:07 pm
What’s this bug? Seen on a F150 killing a yellow jacket. Really big and interesting. Thank you
Signature: lilli

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellowjacket

Dear Lilli,
This Giant Robber Fly in the genus
Promachus appears to be a Red Footed Cannibalfly.  Giant Robber Flies frequently prey upon large stinging insects like wasps and bees.

Wow tyvm. It was the most interesting bug I have seen in a very long time. Never seen it before is it rare?

Sightings on BugGuide cover about 1/4 of North America, and sightings generally occur from July to September.  We get numerous identification requests for Red Footed Cannibalflies each summer, so we don’t believe they are considered rare.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination