Interesting Creatures

While writing this post I realized that I can not even fathom all of the different life forms that we share the Earth with. I did have to do a little homework after spotting and photographing these interesting creatures earlier this week and decided to share what I learned with you.

My curiosity was peaked when I noticed them diligently working on this log for a second day this week. What are they and what are they doing?

With the assistance of my Field Guide To Insects And Spiders Of North America and an internet search engine I identified them as Ichneumon wasps. I also determined that they are laying eggs.

When my husband set up our beach chairs and umbrella this year we discovered that the table that we normally use on the beach during the summer was now being used as a plant stand. I suggested we use a piece of log from a large dead tree that we recently had cut down as a table and he thought it was a great idea.

What we didn’t know, but these wasps have told us, is there are some type of grubs living in that log. The field guide explains that, with their antennae, these parasitic wasps are able to smell grubs. When they locate the grubs living in the wood they secrete a chemical, with their ovipositor, that will break down the wood fibers to gain access to the grub. They then lay their egg on or perhaps near the grub and when the egg hatches the grub becomes it’s food source.

These wasps are rarely dangerous to people. That appendage that looks like a long needle is not a stinger, but the ovipositor required for reproduction. They are, however, thought to be beneficial as they help regulate other invertebrate populations. As I sat in the beach chair watching and photographing them they paid no attention to me and other than the inconvenience of not being able to set my drink on the table I had no problem with them.

Have you spotted any unique bugs this year?

23 thoughts on “Interesting Creatures

      1. Oh I agree with you Ruth. My handyman was here today doing gutters and a few things with tar (at perimeter of the house and chimney flashing) … when he was done, he said “you have an ant problem and I thought you should know.” In the Spring this year and last year, I had those little ants, in the kitchen and of all horrors in my bedroom – in the bedroom was terrible, they were on the outside wall and were coming up the wall, onto the ceiling and falling onto the bed. I went to bed with ear plugs as I was afraid they’d crawl into my ears – one morning I found a dead one on my eyelid – I must’ve swatted it in my sleep – ugh. This is the second year in a row and I know people just have them for 2-3 weeks the beginning of May, but it was upsetting to see them. A fellow blogger recommended Terro Liquid Ant Bait last year – it didn’t work. The handyman recommended Terro granules … just read up on it on Amazon and reviews were mixed. That’s why the one side has tar as they were coming in that one side as it is the only side that is cement, the rest have lava rock, river rock or mulch (opposite side from my bedroom) about 25 years ago. He sealed it today … I don’t know what to think. He said buy it at Ace Hardware so maybe will have to do that. I was hosing off the A/C Sunday and sprayed near the bottom and mouse ran out – I know I lost a year off my life!! 🙂

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      2. We use the terro for ants but sometimes I see dead ants. They are supposed to take it back to the nest so it kills the whole colony. I think if you could put it close to where the nest is it would be best. If it kills them before they get it to the nest it won’t work.

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      3. Thanks – You use the Terro granules Ruth? That’s what Jim recommended – he says he uses it at his house? I have to find something better for next Spring as they drove me crazy inside the house.

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  1. That was interesting Ruth – a quick glance before reading your post made me think you were going to mention fish flies. I saw one on the house yesterday which is odd as there is no water for a mile from here.

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      1. That’s for sure – ugh. When I worked at the diner during school, I worked 6 days a week in the Summer. The diner was painted all white and open 24 hours a day. The fishflies were attracted to the white building and bright lights – every morning for about two weeks, there would be fishflies hanging all over the building. My boss would make sure I didn’t have any land on me. He was really careful when we had deliveries that no flies or bugs flew into the side door – one of us would have to stand and watch as the delivery man brought things in. So now, the new owner and a brand-new place, leaves the front door wide open, no screen door all Summer long.

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      2. I remember one year driving in Algonac where the road runs through Saint John’s marsh we were coming home from the summer festival and the fish flies were covering the road and made it slippery. It was just like driving on ice and some cars were sliding off the road into the marsh.

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      3. I have seen photos of that before and just saw it yesterday on the Accuweather website. I have heard they are really slick once their crunchy bodies are run over by cars. Amazing isn’t it … and sliding into the marsh – wow!

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  2. I’ve learned something new! I haven’t seen any unusual creatures lately. I do enjoy seeing the gigantic slugs on the sidewalks–they crack me up for some reason. There are lots of them where I live Cheers!

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    1. Awesome! I’m always happy when someone learns something from my blog. 🙂 Slugs are definitely weird creatures although I have never seen giant ones. I haven’t really seen any slugs lately but we’ve seen signs that they have been visiting our strawberry patch at night.

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  3. Having the log home now has put us a war with more bugs than ever. Carpenter bees are one of our worst enemies. They lay eggs in the wood and woodpeckers ( which by the way are absolutely beautiful and huge here) will destroy the logs pecking at the larvae. We unfortunately have been forced to spray for them but Randy is working to find more natural solutions to keeping them away. There are many new bugs here too. Last fall I spotted a bright red spider in the yard that was terrifying. When I googled to find out more about it I found It was a fire spider. They are mostly harmless and only seen for a short time each year. If I remember right it is when they are laying eggs. Look them up if you get a chance, pretty cool.

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    1. I never thought about that aspect of owning a log home. I hope you can find a good long term solution. I’ll look up that spider when I get a chance. Too bad they don’t prey on carpenter bees. LOL!

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    1. Bugs that enter my house are putting their life on the line as they may or may not make it out alive. Outdoors I will give them consideration and sometimes observation. And if they are real lucky and pose real nice they even get a blog post LOL!

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