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

Subject: Are these wasp larvae on a laurel sphinx caterpillar?
Location: Michigan
August 27, 2015 6:21 pm
I found this intriguing caterpillar today, and I think it is a laurel sphinx caterpillar. But what are those things on its back? Could those be wasp larvae?
Signature: J. McGuire

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar with Parasites

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar with Parasites

Dear J. McGuire,
We agree that this is a Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar, and it does appear to have parasites, however, the parasitoid looks very different from the typical Braconid infestation pictured on Featured Creatures that is typically seen on the Laurel Sphinx and other Hornworms.  We will continue to try to locate a similar looking image and try to identify the species of Parasitoid.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Parasitic fuzzy black bee?
Location: San Antonio, TX
August 27, 2015 1:01 pm
Hello,
I hope this letter finds you well. I was in my back yard yesterday afternoon, in san antonio, TX, when I stumbled across a large, fuzzy, black, winged insect. It looks almost like a bee and had a large wasp under it. I was thinking a parasite of some sort? Thanks for your help!
Signature: – T

Belzebul Bee Eater

Belzebul Bee Eater

Dear T,
We want to begin by correcting your terminology.  A parasite lives in or on the body of a host creature, feeding on blood or other forms of nutrition that the body can offer.  A parasitoid is all of the above, but it also kills the host while feeding.  A predator catches and eats prey, and your image is of a predatory Robber Fly, the Belzebul Bee Eater,
Mallophora leschenaulti, but we are uncertain of the identity of the prey as your image is lacking in critical detail.

Thank you kindly for the clarification.  Are you quite sure that my image depicts the Mallophora leschenaulti?  It is just that I don’t recall seeing the white band across the it’s body.  They look a little different to me.  Thank you again for your time!
-T

We would need a better quality image to be more certain, but as there are only five members of the genus in North America, and since the others have more prominent yellow markings, we gave the identification our best guess.  High resolution, properly focused images from multiple angles are always preferred for identification purposes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Assassin bug?
Location: Beavercreek, OH
August 24, 2015 3:18 am
This bug landed at our table at our local pool. It was carrying a bee & sat there for a few minutes with it’s stinger in the bees head feeding on it.
Signature: Kerry

Hanging Thief eats Robber Fly

Hanging Thief eats Robber Fly

Dear Kerry,
This is not an Assassin Bug.  It is a Robber Fly in the genus
Diogmites, a group known as the Hanging Thieves because they often hang from one leg while feeding.  They take prey on the wing, and this unfortunate Honey Bee stood no chance against such a formidable predator.  While Hanging Thieves and other Robber Flies are considered beneficial predators, they do not distinguish between eating beneficial pollinators and agricultural nuisance insects.  The mouth of the Hanging Thief is adapted to pierce and suck fluids from the body of the prey.  Hanging Thieves do not sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possible stink bug eating red caterpillar
Location: Livingston County, MI
August 22, 2015 8:26 pm
Found this hanging off a leaf in a meadow behind my house. I think the bug is some sort of stinkbug but I have not been able to find a match online. No idea on the caterpillar type.
Signature: Cheryl E.

Predatory Stink Bug Nymph eats Sawfly Larva

Predatory Stink Bug Nymph eats Sawfly Larva

Dear Cheryl,
This is a Predatory Stink Bug nymph, probably a Spined Soldier Bug nymph based on this BugGuide image, or possibly a member of the genus
Apoecilus based on this BugGuide image, but it is not feeding on a caterpillar.  The prey is a Sawfly larva in the family Argidae, and we have a visual match to Arge coccinea thanks to this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Swamp Darner attacked by hornet
Location: Rochester, NY
August 10, 2015 1:51 pm
Hi!
While trying to identify the dragonfly in my picture I came across this post of yours:
https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2009/09/03/european-hornet-eats-dragonfly-unknown-darner/
and the comments led me to correctly identify the dragonfly as a Swamp Darner, as it is identical to the photos and descriptions on BugGuide, here: http://www.bugguide.net/node/view/2584 The dragonfly pictured was easily 4-5 inches in length.
I believe the attacker may be a European Hornet, as it look very similar to the insect in the original post?
I took this photo August 8th in Rochester, NY. I noticed a loud buzzing and the sound of the dragonfly hitting the glass door several times as he valiantly attempted to keep flying and fend off his attacker. The efforts became more feeble and the hornet appeared to be crawling around going straight for the underside of the thorax. The dragonfly kept curling his abdomen, but after several minutes he seemed pretty much gone, and I could have sworn I heard crunching- the hornet eating his prize.
It was a pretty incredible sight; the kids I was babysitting had very different reactions. The 9 year old, “it’s probably laying eggs in the dragonfly,” and walked away unconcerned. The 2 year old kept trying to go touch it and seemed very concerned for the dragonfly’s well-being.
I thought you might appreciate the picture. Sorry it’s captioned; it’s the only one I had time to get while keeping a 2 year old away from touching!
Signature: Jamie

Swamp Darner attacked bt European Hornet

Swamp Darner attacked bt European Hornet

Hi Jamie,
Your image is an excellent documentation of this Food Chain scenario, but your written account of the observation is especially interesting.  We agree the predator is a European Hornet, and the long term effect that these top of the Food Chain introduced Invasive Exotic predators is having on the native insect population like this Swamp Darner may or may not be significant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cannibalfly?
Location: Split, Croatia
August 9, 2015 1:51 pm
Hi, I took this picture today on my balcony. I live in Split, Croatia. What kind of bug is that (tha one that eats) and is it normal to meet it in this area? Thank you!
Signature: Irena

Robber Fly and Prey

Robber Fly and Prey

Dear Irena,
The predator in your image is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae.  We are uncertain of the species, or if it is native to Croatia, but this posting on Diptera Info indicates that members of the family are found in Croatia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination