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

Subject: What sort is it?
Location: Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
August 3, 2016 6:47 am
Saw this spider eating a cricket in our home in Costa Rica. The spider was pretty hairy and had a big body (between 1 and 2 cm).
What sort is it?
Signature: Marc

Giant Crab Spider eats Cricket

Giant Crab Spider eats Cricket

Dear Marc,
There is not enough detail in your image to make out the eye arrangement, which often helps to identify a family, but the long front two pairs of legs indicates that this is probably a Giant Crab Spider or Huntsman Spider in the family Sparassidae, but we cannot be certain of the species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flying fly eater
Location: Central Connecticut
August 1, 2016 10:42 am
Saw this guy on a fencepost in central Connecticut. Curious about the ID. Thanks
Signature: Bug watcher

Robber Fly eats Blow Fly

Robber Fly eats Blow Fly

Dear Bug Watcher,
The predator in your image is a Robber Fly, but we are not certain of the genus.  We will attempt to research its identity further.  The prey appears to be a Blow Fly, perhaps a Green Bottle Fly or some other member of the genus
Lucilia, a group that is well documented on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: aquatic nymph as prey?
Location: Alexandria, VA
July 30, 2016 5:18 pm
Hi, I observed and photographed a Green Heron capture what I think might be a dragonfly naiad or some other aquatic nymph today at Huntley Meadows in Alexandria, Virginia. I wouldn’t expect a species ID, but do you think this is even an insect? I can’t think of another possibility…. Thanks!
Signature: Seth

Green Heron Eats Water Tiger

Green Heron Eats Water Tiger

Dear Seth,
What marvelous images you have submitted.  This larva appears to be a Water Tiger, the predatory, aquatic larva of a Predaceous Diving Beetle in the genus
Dytiscus.  This posting is a marvelous addition to our Food Chain tag.

Green Heron Eats Water Tiger

Green Heron Eats Water Tiger

Green Heron Eats Water Tiger

Green Heron Eats Water Tiger

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Predation
Location: Andover, NJ
July 28, 2016 8:16 am
I was lurking around my butterfly garden this morning and happened to see this small wasp (Eumenine maybe?) subduing a large syrphid. Amazingly, the wasp took off with her prize with seemingly little effort!
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Square Headed Wasp preys upon Hover Fly

Square Headed Wasp preys upon Hover Fly

Good Mornind Deborah,
What an amazing image.  This is a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae, and we believe that based on this image from BugGuide, that it is in the genus
Ectemnius.  According to BugGuide:  “most nest in decayed wood (logs, stumps), sometimes in sound wood; provision the nests with Diptera.”   The prey appears to be a Drone Fly.

Thanks so much, Daniel!  I was a bit off on my wasp ID, wasn’t I?  Even with multiple field guides, I still find it rather challenging to get the subfamily correct.  But it sure is fun trying!  I just wish our summers lasted longer – once winter comes, I’m lucky to find a shield bug.
Debbi

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Some sort of parasite?
Location: Lafayette, NJ
July 12, 2016 12:53 pm
I found a most curious thing today while out hiking – an asian multicolored lady beetle with it’s shell open, wings extended, and what appears to be some sort of growth or parasite on its back. I’ve never seen anything like this before and can’t come up with any explanation. So, hoping you can have a look at these photos and perhaps solve the mystery?
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

What Parasitized the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle???

What Parasitized the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle???

Hi Deborah,
Though we cannot at this time provide you with a conclusive identification of what parasitized this Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle,
Harmonia axyridis, we hope that whatever it is will help reduce the populations of this invasive Lady Beetle that is displacing many native species.  Our best guess is that it is the pupa of a Tachinid Fly or some parasitic Hymenopteran.  According to Featured Creatures:  “All insects have predators, parasites/parasitoids, and/or pathogens. Ladybirds are not exempt. Larvae of Epilachna borealis and E. varivestis are attacked by a native tachinid fly (Aplomyiopsis epilachnae (Aldrich)) which specializes in the genus Epilachna. Larvae of E. varivestis also are attacked by a eulophid wasp (Pediobius foveolatus, see above). This wasp is a parasitoid of other epilachnine ladybirds in India, and was introduced into the USA specifically to control Epilachna varivestis. Another native tachinid fly, Hyalmyodes triangulifer (Loew), is less specialized, attacking larvae not only of Epilachna varivestis, but also of Coleomegilla maculata, several weevils, and a pterophorid moth. Perhaps the best known of the parasitoids of ladybirds is the braconid wasp Perilitus coccinellae (Schrank). It attacks adult ladybirds and to a lesser extent larvae and pupae (Obrycki et al. 1985). It attacks Coccinella septempunctata, Coleomegilla maculata, and several other species. Many other parasitoids and pathogens of ladybirds are not mentioned here for lack of space.”

Thanks, Daniel – I just wasn’t quite sure what I was seeing, although some sort of parasite makes the most sense.
Interestingly, I have been seeing more native lady beetle species this summer in our area – many more than in past summers.  I am very encouraged by this as I know the asian has really hurt our native species.
Debbi

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red mystery wasp
Location: near Ottawa, Ontario
July 18, 2016 3:43 pm
What is this beautiful little insect? I’m guessing some sort of wasp, maybe a parasitic wasp? I photographed it last week along Cedar Grove Nature Trail near Ottawa, where I see many fascinating tiny insects I can’t identify!
Signature: Suzanne

Ichneumon Stalks Caterpillar

Ichneumon Stalks Caterpillar

Dear Suzanne,
This is an amazing image.  We suspect that the Ichneumon Wasp, which you speculated correctly is a parasitoid, is stalking the Caterpillar.  Caterpillars are a common host to many species of Ichneumons.  Ichneumons are often very host specific, frequently limiting their prey to a single genus, or even a single species.  We are probably not even going to attempt to identify this Ichneumon beyond the family level as according to BugGuide, there are:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed”  The caterpillar may be an Inchworm in the family Geometridae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination