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

Subject:  What’s Hatching on my Super Lemon Haze?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 08/13/2018
Time: 09:32 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I’m sorry to trouble you again so soon, but because I am very nervous regarding Budworms, I am trying to inspect my plants carefully every day.  Today I noticed these creatures hatching from eggs laid on my Super Lemon Haze hybrid.  They were moving around the eggs quickly and appeared to be crawling on top of one another.  What’s going on here?  Do I have a need to worry?
The first photo was shot without a flash and the other two were shot with a flash.
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Telenominid Wasps hatching from Stink Bug Eggs

Dear Constant Gardener,
These appear to be Stink Bug Eggs, possibly from the Red Shouldered Stink Bug you submitted yesterday, but those are not Stink Bugs that are hatching.  We immediately suspected some Parasitoid Wasp, so we researched Parasitoids that attack Stink Bug eggs, and we found this image on BugGuide of a parasitoid in the genus
Telenomus that looks similar to your individuals and this image on BugGuide of another member of the genus.  We also located this image on BugGuide of a different parasitoid in the genus Trissolcus and this image on BugGuide of a member in that same genus, both of which have also parasitized Stink Bug eggs.  Of the latter genus, BugGuide indicates:  “parasitize eggs of Pentatomorpha.”  Your images lack critical sharpness due to soft focus, and the images taken with flash also have some “ghosting” from a slow shutter speed.  Additionally, we lack the necessary expertise to provide an accurate species or genus identification, but both genera are in the subfamily Telenominae in the family Platygastridae, and this represents a new subcategory for our site.  Furthermore, your images are excellent examples of how pests can be controlled with organic methods.

Telenominid Wasps hatching from Stink Bug Eggs

Telenominid Wasps hatching from Stink Bug Eggs

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Stickbug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Silver Spring, MD
Date: 08/12/2018
Time: 12:14 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in the back yard.  Looks like there maybe eggs on its back.  Is it going to mess up my garden?
How you want your letter signed:  Gene

Parasitized Inchworm with Chalcid Pupae

Dear Gene,
Your “stickbug” is an Inchworm or Spanworm, the caterpillar of a moth in the family Geometridae, and they are excellent twig mimics.  What you have mistaken for eggs are actually the pupae of parasitoid Chalcid Wasps.  Here is a similarly parasitized Inchworm on BugGuide and here is an image of the Chalcid Wasp that emerged, also on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Robber Fly Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Elkridge, MD
Date: 08/11/2018
Time: 01:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Yesterday, I found a robber fly on the bush outside my house.  I’ve never had the opportunity to see one so close, especially while it had found a meal!  I’ve been trying to identify what species of robber fly this might be.  I think it might be a Red-footed Cannibalfly, but I’m not sure.   I’d love some help confirming the species of both the robber fly and its dinner!  Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Renee

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Leaf Footed Bug

Dear Renee,
We agree that this Robber Fly is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, or at least another member of the genus
Promachus, the Giant Robber Flies.  The prey is a Leaf Footed Bug in the genus Leptoglossus, and the light tips on the antennae lead us to believe it is likely Leptoglossus oppositus which is pictured on BugGuide, or possibly Leptoglossus fulvicornis, which is also pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the latter feeds on “Magnolia fruit” and the former “can be very common on catalpa pods” according to BugGuide.  Alas, other diagnostic features for the Leaf Footed Bug are obscured by the Red Footed Cannibalfly.  Do you have either a magnolia or a catalpa nearby or another camera angle that shows more of the Leaf Footed Bug? 

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my email!  Unfortunately, the only other picture I took was not clear.  I know there are Southern Magnolia trees in the neighborhood.  I don’t think I’ve seen any catalpa in the immediate neighborhood, but we do have them here in Maryland as well.  Just a few days after my first sighting of the Red Footed Cannibalfly, one appeared on the edge of my window that I had the chance to watch again!
Thanks again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hey Bugman
Geographic location of the bug:  Arizona
Date: 08/11/2018
Time: 09:22 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I’m filming in southern Arizona and came across this wasp (?) pouncing on a cricket. It had the most vibrant, cobalt blue coloring, almost metallic in its sheen. It was about 1.5” in length.
So tell me: what’s that bug?!
How you want your letter signed:  Tomás Arceo

Steel Blue Cricket Hunter and Cricket

Dear Tomás,
You had nearly every word in this predator’s name in your letter.  This is a Steel Blue Cricket Hunter,
Chlorion aerarium, and it is a marvelous addition to our Food Chain tag.  According to BugGuide:  “Females mass-provision several serial cells, each containing from 2 to 9 nymphs or adults of Gryllus pennsylvanicus. Prey are transported on the ground, venter-up, with the wasp’s mandibles grasping the antennae of the cricket.”
Please do us a favor in the future and submit your images using our standard form that you can access by clicking the Ask WTB? link on our site, though we in no way want to discourage you from submitting such excellent images via normal email channels.  Using our form makes it easier for us to create our postings in a uniform manner.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Stinbug sucking on a monarch caterpillar.
Geographic location of the bug:  Western New York State
Date: 08/09/2018
Time: 09:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My wife was so excited to see a monarch caterpillar in our garden today (8/9/2018), only to discover that its “friend” was sucking its insides out.  I could tell the vampire was a true bug, but I had thought they mostly drank plant sap. How specific are they? Does it specialize in monarchs or does  feed  other larvae? Thanks! You guys are awesome!
How you want your letter signed:  Mark VanDerwater

Spined Soldier Bug preys on Monarch Caterpillar

Dear Mark,
While most Stink Bugs feed on fluids from plants, one subfamily, Asopinae, is predatory.  We believe we have correctly identified your Predatory Stink Bug as
Apoecilus cynicus thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “mostly feeds on caterpillars” but luckily they do not limit their diet to solely Monarch Caterpillars so relocating the Predatory Stink Bug far from the milkweed, perhaps in the vegetable patch, would be our solution to repeating this scenario in the future. 

Thank you Daniel! I was poking around insect sights too and came up with the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris. Known to prefer lepidoptera larvae. Also has the dark abdominal tip.

Hi Mark,
We agree that you have provided us with a correction.  The Spined Soldier Bug is another member of the Predatory Stink Bug subfamily, and this BugGuide image is a good match, and the BugGuide description “Black streak on wing membrane + spined humeri are diagnostic” matches your image.  Thanks for bringing this misidentification to our attention. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  2 bugs: fighting or mating?
Geographic location of the bug:  Kootenays, British Columbia, Canada
Date: 08/04/2018
Time: 12:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was out camping and the hairy looking bug on top aggressively latched onto the one with long antennae. Just wondering what they are, and what was going on? Is the hairy one eating the other one? Are they male and female of the same species and they’re mating? (seems unlikely, they look so different) Thank you for your help!
How you want your letter signed:  Jesse

Robber Fly attacks Whitespotted Sawyer

Dear Jesse,
Your images are awesome, but we wish there was more detail in the image to help us identify the predator, because this is most definitely NOT mating.  The prey is a Whitespotted Sawyer,
Monochamus scutellatus (see BugGuide), and the predator is a large Robber Fly, but we are not certain of the species.  It does not look like any of the Robber Flies in the family Asilidae pictured on the Royal British Columbia Museum.  Large Robber Flies often take down considerably larger prey that they capture while flying.

Whitespotted Sawyer eaten by large Robber Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination