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

Unknown Naiad, Firefly larva, and Dipluran? Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 4:59 PM
Hi BugMan,
I love your website, I’ve been interested in insects since I was younger and always dreamed of being an entomologist. When I entered high school I drifted away from my hobby but in the past few years my inner insect passion has returned.
While looking for insects to photograph at the Kalamazoo Nature Center in SW Michigan I found this strange insect on a tree beside the trail. At first I thought it might be some kind of true bug nymph based on its appearance but an entomologist at the Nature Center thought it looked like some kind of naiad. I found it several yards away from a small marsh/pond, but we had recently experienced a heavy rain storm and flooding at the time I took the photo back in July/August so it may have washed away from the pond after the waters receded if it is aquatic. If I remember correctly it was fairly small maybe a quarter of an inch or less. I went back a few hours later to study it more but it was gone.
The next two photos I took a few days ago in my grandparents’ woods just outside of Scotts, Michigan. The first insect I found under the bark of a rotting log, to me it looks like some kind of firefly larva but I have no idea what it’s holding, remains of a slug perhaps? The second I also found under bark of dead log, it looks like a Dipluran but I don’t really have any idea. I’m not an expert by any means but if you can better identify it, I’d greatly appreciate any of your help.
Thanks for your time,
Phillip “SITNAM7” in Climax, Michigan
SW Michigan, in Kalamazoo and Climax woods

Firefly Larva eats Slug

Firefly Larva eats Slug

Hi Phillip,
Thanks for your wonderful letter.  We are only posting your image of the Firefly Larva eating the Slug at this point.  It really complicates our confusing system of archiving if there is more than one specimen in a letter.  We are most excited about the Firefly Larva because it is the only image we have of it feeding.  We sometimes have problems distinguishing Firefly Larvae from Netwing Beetle Larvae, but the former feed on snails and slugs, and the latter feed on fungus.  This is an excellent addition to our Food Chain series.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this a cicada killer?
Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 11:03 AM
My son Sam, 10, took these cool pictures in August of what we thought might be a cicada killer burying it’s prey. It seems to have many things in common with a cicada killer except that its prey is not a cicada and its legs are not orange. What else could it be? Thanks for a great site!
Jim and Sam Schwartz
Prairie, 35 miles west of Chicago

Sand Wasp with Stink Bug prey

Sand Wasp with Stink Bug prey

Hi Jim and Sam,
We already have numerous images of Cicada Killers and prey on our site. Your photo has us much more excited. This is a species of Sand Wasp, most probably in the genus Bicyrtes. According to BugGuide, the female wasp “Provision nests with hemiptera, especially stinkbugs ( Pentatomidae ), also leaf-footed bugs ( Coreidae ), and sometimes assassin bugs ( Reduviidae ). The nest is “mass-provisioned”, i.e., stocked just once, then closed ” Your specimen appears to have a Stink Bug. We are going to contact Eric Eaton to see if he agrees that this is Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus, and since BugGuide doesn’t have any images of the predator and prey together, we suspect he may request that you post this to BugGuide as well.

Sand Wasp with Stink Bug prey

Sand Wasp with Stink Bug prey

Thanks for your wonderful note!  You and Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus really got the house hopping this morning.  It would be a pleasure to send these pictures on.  Sammy, who just turned 11, spent the summer taking pictures with an old digital camera of mine and captured some of the coolest insect pictures I have ever seen anywhere.  I have a couple of others that we’re trying to identify ourselves before asking for help.  Thanks so much for your information and the wonderful resource you provide.  I’ve attached a couple more shots in the series.  Hope they help.
Jimmy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mormon Cricket Eating A Grasshopper
Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 4:37 PM
Here’s a photo of a Mormon Cricket eating grasshopper roadkill. It was on a dirt road in the mountains of Southern Idaho. It might work into Bug Carnage…
Also include a side shot of a Mormon Cricket on the same road.
Congrats on the site redesign!
Rush
Mountain Home, Idaho, USA

Mormon Cricket eats Grasshopper Roadkill

Mormon Cricket eats Grasshopper Roadkill

Hi Rush,
Your photos are both positively gorgeous.  Mormon Crickets are omnivorous feeders.  They are credited with destroying crops, but they will also cannibalize one another if there is no other food.  That dead grasshopper was just too appealing to be passed by.  Your profile shot shows the impressive swordlike ovipositor of the female Mormon Cricket.  For clarification, our Unnecessary Carnage section is reserved for the deliberate killing of insects by people for no apparent reason.  Thanks for the compliment on our new site design.

Female Mormon Cricket

Female Mormon Cricket

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider carrying orange orbs
Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 6:53 AM
I found this spider while digging a trench in my lawn in April, 2008. There was no web in sight. The spider seemed to be just walking along. My first thought was that it was carrying it’s eggs somewhere. I took a few pictures, then continued with my trench. After a few days, I began to wonder exactly what kind of spider it was and what it was doing, but haven’t been able to find out any more information. Thanks for your help.
TJ1028
Coastal southern California

Harvestman with Parasitic Mites

Harvestman with Parasitic Mites

Hi TJ1028,
Your spider is actually another type of Arachnid in the order Opiliones, commonly called a Harvestman or Daddy-Long-Legs.  The orange orbs appear to be Parasitic Mites in the genus Leptus.  We originally thought the Mites were merely hitching a ride, a phenomenon known as Phoresy, but a search of BugGuide revealed the parasitic nature of the Mites.  There is some good dialog contributed by the BugGuide readership on the genus Leptus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

praying mantis eating a wheel bug, unknown eggs
Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 9:12 PM
HELLO BUGMAN!
Just wanted to share this week’s playground “show” of a praying mantis DEVOURING a wheel bug. The class watched in horror/amazement. We had just seen our first wheel bug of this school year the day before.
We are also including a hatching photo we took this August. The eggs were stuck to the brick wall outside our classroom and we watched daily to see what was going to happen. We’d loved to know what was coming out! Thank you so much for your help!
Always looking for bugs,
Fours and fives in PA
Southeastern PA

Preying Mantis eats Wheel Bug

Preying Mantis eats Wheel Bug

Dear Teacher of Fours and Fives in PA,
We are gladdened to see that you have taken your classwork home and that your students will be able to find their answers online next week.  Our only request is that in the future, you please don’t include multiple postings in one letter as it jumbles our already voluminous archives.  Your Mantis photo is awesome in that it shows the Mantis devouring another beneficial predator.  If the statistics were available, they might reveal that, since it pretty much sits higher up on the food chain, the Mantis may eat more beneficial insects than problematic ones.  Since Mantids are often found on flowering plants, they consume their share of pollinators.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cicada Killer Having Snack in WV
Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 6:30 PM
These killers surrounded us this summer in Springfield, West Virginia. They like to burrow (?) in the ground – they make little holes like moles and they seemed to have made their home about 50 yards from the river, in a field, with fruit & nut trees. They like to fly at us, but then swerve real quick. We’ve seen them close to 3 inches in length! This little bugger brought down the cicada right in front of me. LOVE THE SITE! I’ve learned sooooooo much!
Julie & Steve
Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia

Cicada Killer and Prey

Cicada Killer and Prey

Hi Julie and Steve,
Thanks for your contribution to our archive of a Cicada Killer and its prey. We should clarify though that that adult Cicada Killers feed on nectar and that the Cicada is not food for the adult. The female Cicada Killer provisions her nest with a paralyzed Cicadas and then lays a single egg on each. The Cicada is a meal for the developing larva. The life cycle is expained on BugGuide in the following manner: “In two or three days after egg laying, a wasp larva will hatch from the egg. The larva immediately begins eating the cicada. When the larva finishes the cicada, leaving only the outer shell (about two weeks), it will then spin a coccoon and hibernate until the following Spring. In the Spring, the larva will leave its coccoon and become a pupa (resting stage). From the pupa, an adult Cicada Killer will hatch. It will dig its way out of the ground and look for a mate. Male wasps die shortly after mating. Females die after laying all of their eggs. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination