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

Subject:  Digging in the dirt!
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Nevada
Date: 10/25/2019
Time: 03:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  While out to lay pavers in our yard we got to watch a fascinating insect we’d never seen before. We watched for some time as it dug in our soft dirt, buzzing in the hole, moving rocks (sometimes as large as it was!) and at one point it unearthed a grub of sorts! Biting it behind the head it held in… it didn’t appear to sting it, and eventually the grub ceased to move. For an hour we watched as our friend dig holes, and then moved on to another spot. On one hole we watched her start to fill it back in, going in to buzz excitedly, then back to digging. I have a couple of videos too, if you’re interested.
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely, Kristi Shaffer

Thread-Waisted Wasp with Cutworm Prey

Dear Kristi,
This is a Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Specidae, and the prey is a Cutworm.  The Wasp will not eat the Caterpillar.  Rather, the female Wasp has paralyzed the Caterpillar which it will bury and the paralyzed Caterpillar will provide food for the developing Wasp larva which will feed on the helpless, but living Caterpillar.  We believe we have correctly identified your Wasp as
Podalonia argentifrons thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are provisioned with caterpillars exclusively from the family Noctuidae.” 

Thread-Waisted Wasp with Cutworm Prey

Thread-Waisted Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider eats Budworm
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 10/23/2019
Time: 07:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Exactly one month ago, I sent in images of a Green Lynx Spider that laid an egg sac on one of my medical marijuana plants, and this morning I noticed her eating a Budworm, and her brood has hatched.  I thought they would hatch in the spring.  What gives?
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats a Budworm while guarding brood.

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for keeping our readership up to date on the mundane dramas in your garden.  Daniel has always thought that the eggs of Green Lynx Spiders would hatch in the spring.  Lower beasts are much more attuned to their environments than are most humans, and perhaps global warming is affecting the hatching cycle of Green Lynx Spiders.  According to the Orlando Sentinel:  “A green lynx spider’s egg sac is much easier to spot than the spider itself. The sac is a slightly bumpy, sand-colored container housing up to 600 bright orange eggs that will hatch within 11 to 16 days. The sac is about an inch diameter with one flat side and one rounded. After its construction is complete, the female spider surrounds the sac with a sketchy tent of randomly woven silky threads. She then protects it further by clutching it with her legs as she hangs upside down.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this a spider wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Conyers GA
Date: 09/24/2019
Time: 04:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just wondering what type of bug this is. It was dragging a very large spider as it went along.
How you want your letter signed:  Belinda

Spider Wasp and prey

Hi Belinda,
This is definitely a Spider Wasp.  Based on this BugGuide image, it appears to be
Entypus unifasciatus. The prey appears to be a Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes, and according to BugGuide:  “Females dig a burrow that ends in a terminal chamber off of the side of a mammal burrow or large crack in the ground. The serrations on the hind tibiae are used to aid the movement of soil out of the burrow entrance. The position in which the egg is laid is unknown. Larvae feed on one large spider and, as in all Pompilids that have one generation per year, overwinter as pupae.”  Most images of this Spider Wasp are with prey that are Wolf Spiders like this BugGuide image, but Fishing Spiders surely constitute “one large spider.”  Perhaps an expert in Spider Wasps will be able to provide comments regarding the prey.

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