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

Subject:  Robber Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Cleveland, NY 13042
Date: 08/08/2019
Time: 09:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Mr. Bugman  – I came across this insect while photographing dragonflies in my small meadow of grasses and wildflowers. I heard him before I saw him. I was quite fascinated with how low and slow he flew and how loud he was! Sounded like a small drone! I noticed him first yesterday but all he did was fly back and forth without ever stopping. Then late this morning he was in the dirt on the edge of the little meadow acting like an ovipositing dragonfly, but in one place. Then this afternoon I saw him/her fly across the meadow and land quite close by. That is when I got the photos. Any ID help you can give me would be most appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Ginny

Hanging Thief eats Wasp

Dear Ginny,
This magnificent Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites is a Hanging Thief, and it is eating its prey, a Wasp, in the typical manner which has led to its common name, by hanging from one leg.  We rarely try to identify Hanging Thieves to the species level as we don’t have the necessary expertise, but this sure looks to us like Diogmites discolor which is pictured on BugGuide.  You might have witnessed oviposition, because according to BugGuide:  “Oviposits in ground, and ovipositor equipped with spines to aid in covering eggs. Larvae are possibly predators in soil”

Hanging Thief eats Wasp

Dear Daniel,
Your incredibly fast reply is most appreciated! A Hanging Thief no less!! That was one of the things that fascinated me about this Robber Fly – in every photo she was hanging onto the vegetation by one leg. I really enjoyed all the information you provided. Our bugs never cease to amaze! Thank you so much for all of your help. Take care – Ginny
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Robbery fly
Geographic location of the bug:  location: GPS@43°47’39″N 15°40’51″E (19.0 m)
Date: 07/18/2019
Time: 03:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This about 3 cm bug was sucking a brombee in my garden. I have s lot if brombees in my lavender and ‘stockroses’. It had yellow-black legs with hairs. Long body with yellow-brown stripes and very long brownies wings folded onbthe back.
How you want your letter signed:  Wilma

Robber Fly eats Bumble Bee

Dear Wilma,
Based on the GPS coordinates your provided, Google Maps places this sighting in Croatia.  When we searched the internet for Croatian Robber Flies, we located this FlickR posting of 
Pogonosoma maroccanum which appears very similar to your individual.

Robber Fly eats Bumble Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this Hopper on my Cannabis?
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 8, 2019 7:51 am
Subject:  Hi Bugman,
As my Cannabis plants grow larger, I’ve noticed that many of the plants have predators on them.  In addition to the Mantid I submitted earlier this year, I am happy to report that four of my plants have mantids on them and several have Green Lynx Spiders as well.  Can you please identify the hopping insect that I have found on my plants this year.  One of the images of the Green Lynx Spiders I am sending has it eating an immature hopping insect, though it is difficult to see.  The other image is of a winged adult.
Thanks
Signature: Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats (presumably) Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter nymph

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks so much for keeping our readers informed about your thriving
Cannabis ecosystem.  The adult hopping insect is a Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter, and according to BugGuide:  “The biggest problem is that it can spread the disease-causing bacterium Xylella fastidiosa.  The most important biocontrols are egg-parasite wasps in the genus Gonatocerus. Spiders, assassin bugs, and praying mantis prey on the mobile forms.”  Several years ago, we received a report of Glassy-Winged Sharpshooters, Homalodisca vitripennis, on marijuana.  According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program site:  “The glassy-winged sharpshooter is found in many habitats, including agricultural crops, urban landscapes, native woodlands, and riparian vegetation. It feeds on hundreds of plant species across dozens of plant families. Hosts include numerous common woody plants as well as annual and perennial herbaceous plants. It is common to find this insect on acacia, avocado, eucalyptus, citrus, crepe myrtle, heavenly bamboo, grape, photinia, pittosporum, hibiscus, periwinkle, xylosma, some roses, and many others. Host preference changes throughout the year, depending on the availability and nutritional value of host plants. Some hosts are preferred for feeding while others are preferred for reproduction. Irrigation level and fertilizer additions can also impact the attractiveness of hosts for sharpshooters.”  There is no mention of Cannabis.  We presume the nymph being eaten by the Green Lynx Spider is a member of the same species.

Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter

Green Lynx Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hornet/ wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Pearland TX
Date: 07/06/2019
Time: 04:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This hornet attacked a locust and was dragging it around in the grass in the backyard just yesterday July 5 2019
How you want your letter signed:  KMB

Cicada Killer with Cicada prey

Dear KMB,
This Wasp is a Cicada Killer and its prey is a Cicada, not a Locust which is actually a Grasshopper.  Cicada Killers are not aggressive.  The female Cicada Killer stings and paralyzes a Cicada and then drags it to her burrow to serve as food for her brood.

Cicada Killer

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bee cricket situation?
Geographic location of the bug:  Lake George NY
Date: 07/01/2019
Time: 08:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  So we saw this scenario while on vacation in ny. I guess I just really want to know what’s going on here. It looks almost like they’re trying to mate, which is obviously not the case. I thought the bug underneath was a cricket, but I’m not positive. Anyway, they were on a busy stairwell, so I tried to move them out of the way with my room card. When I touched them, the bee LIFTED the cricket and started flying! They dropped a second later, but the bee lifted his (victim?) as high as my head. I was just wondering if anyone there might know what’s going on. I didn’t think bees attacked other insects like this. I LOVE your site btw and have to tell you that you are the reason I’ve gone from being terrified of insects, to now thinking they’re adorable and picking them up!
Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  KBH

Bee-Like Robber Fly eats Sawyer

Dear KBH,
Thanks for your kind words, and we are happy to learn our site has helped to alleviate your fear of many insects, though we caution you that many insects should not be handled due to the possibility of stings, bites, urticating hairs and chemical defenses that can cause skin reactions.  We are thrilled with your dramatic Food Chain images, but your speculation about this being a Cricket and a Bee is quite wrong.  Though not a Bee, the predator is a Bee-Like Robber Fly in the genus
Laphria, and we felt up to the challenge of providing you with a species identification.  The most frontal facing of your images shows the beard hair as well as the markings on the abdomen and the leg hairs, so we are very confident that your Bee-Like Robber Fly is Laphria thoracica which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to Wisconsin Butterflies:  “This species has a mainly black mystax with some scattered yellow hairs, and mainly black hairs surrounding the eyes. The thorax is yellow and the abdomen may have a variable amount of yellow hairs on abdominal segments two through four. The yellowish arc of hairs that extend from the anterior of the thorax to below the wing insert, make an obvious field mark that is useful in the field.”  The lateral view you provided shows the “yellowish arc of hairs that extend from the anterior of the thorax to below the wing insert” confirming the species identification.  Large Robber Flies are among the greatest aerial insect predators, and they frequently capture prey on the wing, including insects many times their size.  The prey appears to be a Sawyer Beetle similar to this White Spotted Sawyer pictured on BugGuide.

Bee-Like Robber Fly eats Sawyer

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wasp lands on me WITH caterpillar meal
Geographic location of the bug:  Missouri, United States
Date: 06/29/2019
Time: 12:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  so today one of the most cool, weird, and gross things happened to me. I was sitting outside with my bearded dragon and we were under a nice tree. I feel a plop on my arm and I look down to see what it is and my hand is already poised to gently brush off whatever bug has wandered onto me, but I see the black and yellow and my brain registers: THAT is a wasp.
I pulled out my camera as fast as I could because… this is absolutely wild, I’ve never had this happen. and I sit there as I watch this wasp crunch her caterpillar prey WHILE SITTING ON MY ARM… when I moved my arm she got spooked and flew away, leaving her dead caterpillar laying on me… which I brushed off onto the sidewalk.
I have included the caterpillar itself as well, which I’m curious to know the name of, if possible.
How you want your letter signed:  Michael

European Paper Wasp with Caterpillar prey alights on tattooed arm.

Dear Michael,
We applaud your quick reflex “inaction” to the aposomatic or warning coloration on this European Paper Wasp,
Polistes dominula, which we identified thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to the Penn State Department of Entomology: “Before 1981, the European paper wasp was not recorded in North America. In its native region, P. dominulais the most abundant paper wasp in those countries around the Mediterranean. It is also found in southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and eastward into China.  A highly successful colonizer, this wasp has rapidly increased its distribution in the United States during the past 20 years. Before the introduction of this new species, the northern paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus, was the most frequently encountered species in and around structures in Pennsylvania.”  That site also observes:  “Whenever new species are introduced into an environment (either intentionally or accidentally), there are unpredictable consequences. The increased risk for stings is an obvious concern. Even more troubling, it appears that this new introduction has had an adverse impact on the native species of Polistes. The apparent reduction of indigenous Polistes will undoubtedly result in a change in the faunal balance. It is unclear what the consequences will be. Some entomologists worry that the large numbers of P. dominula will adversely affect the species of desirable insects (i.e., butterflies).”  For that reason, we are tagging your submission as Invasive Exotics as well as Food Chain.  This is also the most frequently encountered Paper Wasp in our our Mount Washington, Los Angeles garden.  We believe this caterpillar is a member of the Owlet Moth family Noctuidae, which includes Cutworms.

Probably Owlet Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination