Bay Journal

Feast on This!

  • By Kathleen Gaskell on November 26, 2015
Sea Nettle  (Dave Harp)

Normally, we offer up thanksgiving for the feast this time of year. This quiz offers up thanksgiving for those who feast on species or things that are often unwelcome. Can you match the predator with its feast?

Common Green Darner
Corn Snake
Eastern Mole
Eastern Oyster
Little Brown Bat
Rabid Wolf Spider
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Sea Nettle
Turkey Vulture

1. This creature feasts on the invasive emerald ash borer. Foresters have discovered that it can eat up to 85 percent of the borer’s larvae in a single tree.

2. This creature, whose reputation as a dangerous creature is unfounded (OK, it does bite, but only in defense), eats cockroaches.

3. Just one of these creatures can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour.

4. If it weren’t for this creature, there would be piles of dead animals all over the watershed.

5. The next time you see
this largest member of the dragonfly family, thank it for eating
such biting insects as wasps, mosquitos and midges. Despite its fearsome appearance, it does not bite humans.

6. Despite this creature’s name, it is not a vegetarian. It would much rather eat mice and rats.

7. This creature can filter 50 gallons of water a day, eating up algae, dirt and nitrogen that would otherwise pollute the Bay.
8. While eating its favorite foods, insects and crustaceans that live in the soil, this creature sometimes takes in heavy metals contaminating the soil such as copper, zinc, lead and cadmium. By the time the creature’s gut is done processing these metals and poops them out, it has removed much of the metals’ toxic ions.

9. Many people regard this creature as a lawn pest because of its tunnels, but they could not be further from the truth. This creature not only tills and forms soil, but it preys on real plant killers, such as Japanese beetles and cutworms.

10. This creature eats a variety of aquatic creatures, including mosquito larvae.


1. Red-bellied Woodpecker
2. Rabid Wolf Spider
3. Little Brown Bat
4. Turkey Vulture
5. Common Green Darner
6. Corn Snake
7. Eastern Oyster
8. Pillbug
9. Eastern Mole
10. Sea Nettle

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About Kathleen Gaskell

Kathleen A. Gaskell, the layout & design editor for the Bay Journal, has been involved with several environmental programs for children.

Read more articles by Kathleen Gaskell


A Documentary Inspired by William W. Warner’s 1976 Exploration of Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay.

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