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

Subject: Help identify this beetle?! please
Location: Vellore, India ; Bangalore, India
July 29, 2015 6:44 am
Greetings Mr Bugman
I have come across this particular insect (which I assume is a Beetle) since my childhood . Unfortunately for me, it has been very hard to identify this bug because to my knowledge it is not known by any specific name in any of the Indian languages I speak. Add to this the fact that environment conservation and species identification takes a backseat in developing countries has made it hard for me to crosscheck with any National Database. I would like to know if this insect could be endemic to my country for I did not find any references to it any of the Google searches. Also, they mate during July – I have always found it intriguing to find a pair of them attached at their hinds ,walking busily with one walking backwards. I haven’t specifically noticed if the females and males are physiologically different. I found this site by chance and felt this would be a good place to have my curiosity quenched. I am attaching two recent photos of the insect. I must apologise as the pictures may not be of good quality. Thanks in advance.
PS: I have found this insect in South India, not the North
Signature: Varun Bharadwaj

Predatory Red Bug

Predatory Red Bug

Dear Varun,
These look like Red Bugs in the family Pyrrhocoridae, and in one of your images, it appears that one individual is eating another.  Several years ago we posted an image of a predatory Red Bug from India that was eventually identified as
Antilochus conqueberti.  Members of this family are frequently found in multigenerational aggregations like the one you have included, and close inspection of that image reveals that there are several mating pairs among the crowd.  To the best of our knowledge, this is an endemic species in India.  Here is a FlickR image for comparison, but it is identified as Antilochus cocqueberti.  The Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies site identifies this Pyrrhocorid predator as Antilochus conqueberti.

Aggregation of Red Bugs

Aggregation of Red Bugs

Hi
First things first – thank you so much for such a prompt response and I am sorry to have sent so many requests to an already overworked staff.
Now that I have the Family and Order of the insect ( Antilochus conqueberti), I am able to get more relevant results from Google Searches . From what I have found, it appears that this insect is spread across Yunnan of China and Thailand as well. The possibility that it is “cannibalistic” is simply shocking. I have come across references to it as being a pest in Cotton Crops and with studies being conducted to identify a potent insecticide for it.
I have also heard someone mention that it is poisonous. Any way to validate that claim? Also, are they capable of  feeding on Humans?
Lastly, I have another picture of them aggregated in a mound. Would you guys be interested in it?
Varun Bharadwaj

Mating Red Bugs

Mating Red Bugs

Hi again Varun,
At this time, we cannot verify if they are poisonous, but we doubt it.  They do not suck human blood.  The previous images you sent are sufficient.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: predatory fly
Location: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA
July 26, 2015 4:20 pm
Saw this fly in a neighbor’s dead bamboo. I got a look at it through binoculars, and it reminded me of deer flies I’ve seen in NorCal and So. OR, but those don’t live here, nor do they take other flies as prey. The first photo is a nice clear shot from underneath, and you can see the wings of the prey sticking out. In the, second, rather blurry photo (just could *not* get the camera to focus on anything but those intervening twigs), you can kind-of make out the relative position and size of the two. The predator was an inch (or so) long, and I’ve never knowingly seen another one in my 50+ years in this area.
Signature: Eric Simpson

Bee Killer

Bee Killer

Dear Eric,
This predator is a Robber Fly, and though the image is not the best for identification purposes, we suspect it is a Bee Killer,
Mallophora fautrix, the only member of the genus found in California.  These large Robber Flies are impressive and very adept hunters.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug ID
Location: Cheektowaga, N.Y.
July 18, 2015 5:04 pm
Have not seen this bug before. Have searching to ID but no luck, but will keep trying.
Took the picture of bug on my rose bush eating small inch worm. My roses have not been good this year. Lot’s of chewy leaf insects & started spraying to late. I don’t like pesticides but was contemplating till seen this. Do not want to kill good insects.
Anyway any info would be appreciated.
I live in Cheektowaga, N.Y. 14043 just outside of Buffalo, N.Y.
Signature: Butch

Predatory Stink Bug eats Caterpillar

Predatory Stink Bug eats Caterpillar

Dear Butch,
Your reservations concerning pesticides are deserved because broad spectrum pesticides do not discriminate between pest species and beneficial insects.  Several years ago we were amused that Ortho Bug-B-Gone illustrated their product with an image of a Monarch Caterpillar.  Your predator is an immature Predatory Stink Bug in the subfamily Asopinae, and we believe we have matched it to a BugGuide image of an immature Stink Bug in the genus
Podisus, commonly called Spined Soldier Bugs.  One member of the genus is profiled on Featured Creatures.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Solifugid and Cicada
Location: Mayhill, NM, USA
June 20, 2015 10:52 pm
It’s been a little while since I’ve visited your site, mostly being busy with other things; however, revisited it about a week ago because I remember greatly enjoying the different pictures and descriptions. Looking through your site reminded me of this picture I nabbed a little over a year ago; I’d just gotten home from a nighttime trip to town for provisions (it’s about an hour drive away, and at the time they were seeing daytime temperatures upwards of 110F) and was checking on my plants I’ve got scattered around outside the house when I heard a strange noise; it was like a clicking and flapping that I couldn’t quite place. Seeking it out, I found these two, a Solifugid and a cicada, the one struggling to eat the other as the other tried desperately to fly away. By the time I managed to get my camera, the cicada had died and the Solifugid was happily munching away, but knowing how rare it is to see even the end result of a hunt like that, I took a picture anyway. Around here, our cicadas are tiny, rarely ever getting over an inch in length; you can somewhat make out a Ponderosa pine needle in the foreground bottom center, extending to the left of the pair, for reference.
I’m gonna go ahead and send this other picture I took about the same time; it’s another tiny Solifugid, resting on a bed of moss. That’s pretty typical moss, and all the “twigs” are actually more Ponderosa pine needles, so you can tell this guy was tiny. I love finding these guys around here; they’re really neat to watch scurry around.
Hope you enjoy the pictures!
Signature: Grady

Solifugud eats Cicada

Solifugud eats Cicada

Dear Grady,
We were out of the office for several weeks and we are just now combing through to find interesting submissions to post.  We know we will miss many because we have so many unanswered submissions, but we are selecting submissions based on subject lines and your subject line caught our attention.  Thanks for submitting this wonderful Food Chain image of a Solifugid eating a Cicada, but especially because of the detailed verbal account of your observations.

Solifugid

Solifugid

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: apple tree infestation
Location: Guildford Surrey
June 28, 2015 10:38 am
Hi, I found lots of these climbing on my apple tree. There was also a type of white fungus around which some of them congregated – this possibly contains eggs?
I don’t know if they are bad for the tree or not. They measure approx. 1cm, but some are slightly smaller. They have 6 legs but the back part of their body looks like a caterpillar.
I hope you can help.
Signature: Barbara

Lady Beetle Larvae eat Hemipterans

Lady Beetle Larvae eat Hemipterans

Dear Barbara,
While there is a pest problem on your apple tree, nature seems to be controlling the situation.  What you have mistaken for fungus or eggs is actually a type of Hemipteran, possibly a Woolly Aphid which you can read about on the Royal Horticultural Society site.  The crawling insects are the larvae of Lady Beetles, and they are feeding on the Hemipterans.   The bad news here is that the Lady Beetle Larva is an Asian Lady Beetle Larva, a nonnative species, and it is believed that the proliferation of nonnative Asian Lady Beetles in North America is contributing to the decline in numbers of native species.

Lady Beetle Larva

Lady Beetle Larva

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for the information – so it is good news and bad news!
Since posting, many of the larva have now attached their back ends to the tree bark and are hanging upside down, obviously in preparation for their next stage of development.  Also, there is now very little evidence of the ‘white fluff’ so they have probably done their job.  Unfortunately, many of the leaves on the tree are not looking very healthy but I am loathe to spray anything and just let nature take its course so I can review the tree in the autumn (it is past its prime anyway).
Thank you again for your help.
Regards
Barbara

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cicada killers
Location: Tennessee
June 4, 2015 3:47 pm
I was outside and saw these weird bugs eating a cicada. When I looked closee at the Bush they were everywhere. Some cicadas only had a few, but some were completely swarmed. You also can’t really tell in the pic but they have a spider man coloration in the sun.
Signature: -Brad

Florida Predatory Stink Bugs eat Cicada

Florida Predatory Stink Bugs eat Cicada

Dear Brad,
This year marked the emergence of the The Lower Mississippi Valley Brood, Brood XXIII of the Periodical Cicadas,
Magicicada neotredecim, a species that appears every 13 years.  When the Cicadas are plentiful, they provide food for predators, including the Florida Predatory Stink Bug nymphs pictured in your image.  This is an awesome food chain image and it is a wonderful addition to our archive.  Folks can read more about Brood XXIII on Magicada.org where we read:  “2015 will be a remarkable year for periodical cicadas. 13-year Brood XXIII, the Mississipian Brood, and 17-year Brood IV, the Kansan Brood, will both emerge.  The 2015 emergence of periodical cicadas will be extraordinary. 13-year Brood XXIII will emerge in the Mississippi River Valley. This brood contains all four described species of 13-year periodical cicadas- Magicicada neotredecim, Magicicada tredecim, M. tredecassini, and M. tredecula. 17-year Brood IV, the Kansan Brood, will emerge along the western edge of the general periodical cicada range. This brood contains Magicicada septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula. Thus, in 2015, you can see all seven described species of Magicicada.”  Supplied with that information, we don’t know for certain which species of Cicada you observed as so many generations are overlapping this year.  More about the Florida Predatory Stink Bugs can be found on Featured Creatures.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination