Currently viewing the tag: "food chain"
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

Subject:  Carting off a big prize
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwest Ohio
Date: 06/20/2019
Time: 01:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was gardening when I noticed a little spider being dragged through the grass.   I thought at first that an ant was bringing it home, but maybe not.  It was making all sorts of enthusiastic abdominal movements I assumed were pheromone deposits.   Definitely had wings and a more fly-like face.   Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Kitsa

Spider Wasp and Crab Spider

Dear Kitsa,
The predator in your images is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and the prey is a Crab Spider, probably a Flower Spider,
Misumena vatia.  The Spider Wasp will not be eating the Crab Spider.  Rather, the Spider Wasp will place the paralyzed Crab Spider in an underground burrow so that the larval Spider Wasp will have a fresh source of food.  The pattern on the wings of the Spider Wasp are rather distinctive, and it appears that it might be Dipogon calipterus which is pictured on BugGuide.

Spider Wasp and Crab Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spider eating an ant?
Geographic location of the bug:  Fort Collins, CO
Date: 06/19/2019
Time: 09:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this lovely spider on my Siberian iris this evening. I can’t tell but it looks like she’s eating an ant, maybe? I’d love to know the species of spider as I haven’t seen one like this. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Sheryl Highsmith

Western Lynx Spider eats Ant

Dear Sheryl,
The spiny legs and shape of the body reminded us of a Green Lynx Spider, and we quickly identified this Western Lynx Spider,
Oxyopes scalaris, thanks to images on BugGuide

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Insect attached to caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Macon, Ga
Date: 06/19/2019
Time: 07:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Was curious what this insect is?
How you want your letter signed:  Evan S. Thomas

Giant Strong Nosed Stink Bug nymph eats Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Evan,
Though most Stink Bugs feed on plants, those in the subfamily Asopinae, the Predatory Stink Bugs, prey on other insects and arthropods.  We quickly identified this Strong Nosed Stink Bug nymph,
Alcaeorrhynchus grandis, thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  The prey is a Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination