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

Food Chain Meat ants v Scarab beetle
Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 9:37 PM
Our Australian meat ants, Iridomyrmex purpereus, are omnivorous and quite as happy eating the flowers off my zucchinis as any hapless critter that stays still long enough. Farmers will sometimes use a nest as a disposal system for animal carcasses. A nest may have around 85000 ants and they can reduce a full size cow to just bones in about three days. Their bite does not sting but they will chomp on you if you are in their way in bare feet.. This scarab beetle, Exochogenys nigripennisare, will be little more than a snack.
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia although widespread

Meat Ants devour Scarab Beetle in Australia

Meat Ants devour Scarab Beetle in Australia

Wow Trevor,
Thanks for the exciting documentation of the Australian Meat Ants and the Scarab which you have identified as Exochogenys nigripennis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Eerie Cricket Thingy
Sat, Nov 8, 2008 at 11:07 AM
Yesterday a mysterious reddish-brown pill shaped object suddenly began emerging from the underside of one of our pet crickets. Looks like some sort of egg, but from what we can tell, cricket eggs don’t look like this. The cricket seemed healthy before this emerged, and was alive for a while when it first appeared, but now is dead. Could it be that some other insect such as a wasp laid its eggs inside the cricket as a host? I’ve heard of them doing this to caterpillars, but crickets? Or is it something else?
Paul and Stella
Los Angeles

Unknown Cricket Parasite:  Tachinid Fly???

Unknown Cricket Parasite: Tachinid Fly???

Hi Paul and Stella,
This is a new one for us and we will need to do some research. We will also try to contact Eric Eaton to see if he has an opinion. We, like you, suspect this is some type of internal parasite that has had its meal and is perhaps pupating outside the cricket’s body. It would be interesting to see what, if anything, eventually emerges. If we were betting, we would bet on a Tachinid Fly. Moments after we posted, we found an online article on a Tachinid Fly, Ormia ochracea, that parasitizes crickets.

Unknown Cricket Parasite:  Tachinid Fly???

Unknown Cricket Parasite: Tachinid Fly???

Hi, Daniel:
The object protruding from the deceased cricket is indeed a fly puparium (the rigid last larval ‘skin’ enclosing a fly pupa). It could certainly be a tachinid fly, but there are also other flies that are parasitic on crickets, especially some members of the flesh fly family (Sarcophagidae). I’d personally be hard-pressed to identify even the adult fly once it emerges, though a dipterist (fly expert) could.
Eric

Update:  November 18, 2012
Thanks to a comment just made by a reader with experience in Tachinid Flies, we are confident to report that this pupa belongs to the Tachinid Fly
Ormia ochracea.  This Cornell University article tells the fascinating account of this Tachinid Fly that uses sound to locate its host when the male Crickets call to attract females.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Giant Robberfly Foodchain Picture
Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 11:07 PM
HI Guys,
Just had an encounter with the biggest robberfly I’ve ever seen. To give you a sense of scale the perch it has chosen is as thick as a mans index finger. It seemed to have some orange colouration under the wings but I couldn’t get close. This was taken with a telephoto lens in a very shady spot so please excuse picture quality.
Aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Robber Fly

Robber Fly

Hi Trevor,
As always, thank you for another awesome submission to our site. If you identify the species of Robber Fly, please let us know.

ID for that Giant Robberfly
Hi Guys,
That giant robberfly is exactly that apparently, thanks to Eric Fisher at diptera.info for the ID,  the Giant Yellow Robberfly Blepharotes coriarius
Here are two links that show some more detail of the guy, nearly 2 inches long!
http://www.thebegavalley.org.au/1622.html
http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_robbers/LargeRobberFly.htm
regards
aussietrev

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green lynx spider eats bumble bee
Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 7:35 AM
Hi Bugman. Maybe this is the true reason for the bee shortage. We saw this food chain demonstration while hiking Moss Park in Orlando, Fl. on Nov.1st. The sun was setting and so we also saw gorgeous orb weavers busy spinning their webs. None of my past submissions have been posted so since this is your favorite spider, I hope my photo will make it to your website. By the way, I impressed my husband when I blurted out “oh, that’s a green lynx spider”! (just a little identifcation I picked up from my visits to your site). Thanks for the great website.
Elizabeth from Orlando
Orlando, Fl.

Green Lynx Spider eats Bumble Bee

Green Lynx Spider eats Bumble Bee

Hi Elizabeth,
What a marvelous photo of our favorite spider, the Green Lynx Spider, Peucetia viridans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large Fuzzy Fat Catapillar with dangles
Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 4:00 PM
Found this critter right outside my kitchen window, seemed to move very slowly over the week. Then started growing the dangling things off of his/her body.
M.Sims – Garland TX
N. Texas (Dallas/Ft Worth-area)

Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar parasitised by Brachonid Wasp

Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar parasitised by Braconid Wasp

Hi M.,
This is a Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar, Eumorpha pandorus, and it has been parasitized by a Braconid Wasp. The Brachonid Wasp lays its eggs inside the caterpillar and the larvae feed on the internal organs, eventually emerging and pupating on the outside of the caterpillar. You can see some of the pupae have “hatched” and the adult Braconid Wasps have emerged. Sadly, the Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar will die.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider Wasp: Pompilidae family
Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 8:25 PM
Hi Daniel,
This wasp was scurrying up a gum tree with a large spider for lunch.
See http://www.geocities.com/ brisbane_wasps/YellowAntWasp.htm for more information about this predator.
Grev
East Coast Australia

Spider Wasp with prey from Australia

Spider Wasp with prey from Australia

Hi Grev,
Nice to hear from you again. Thanks so much for helping to expand our new What’s That Bug Down Under? portion of our website.  By the way, adult Spider Wasps don’t eat spiders.  The spiders are food for the wasp larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination