Subject: Swarming on beach morning glory
Location: Wellington, Florida
December 24, 2015 2:50 pm
Dear Bugman,
There is a crowd of these bugs swarming on our only beach morning glory plant (Ipomoea imperati) here in western Palm Beach County, Florida. The plant looks peaked and is starting to turn yellow. What are these bugs, and are the bugs to blame? Will they move on to other plants after they are done with the morning glory?
Thank you!
Signature: Helen

Giant Sweet Potato Bug Nymphs

Giant Sweet Potato Bug Nymphs

Dear Helen,
We are sorry about the delay, but you wrote during the time we were out of the office for two weeks and we are still catching up on old mail.  These appear to be Giant Sweet Potato Bug nymphs,
Spartocera batatas, based on this BugGuide image.  The individual in that image were also on morning glory in Florida.  Though BugGuide notes:  “native to the Neotropics (West Indies to so. Brazil), adventive in our area (FL)” and “first reported in the continental US: FL 1995,” there is no mention of food plants, so we cannot say if they will move to other plants.  Featured Creatures has much more information including:  “A large colony of Spartocera batatas (Fabricius) was found in late June 1995 on an Asian cultivar of sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) in Homestead, Florida, by Lynn D. Howerton, environmental specialist, Division of Plant Industry (DPI). The plants were badly damaged by the insects. That collection represented the first report of S. batatas in the continental U.S. Subsequent surveys of commercial fields of sweet potatoes in the area failed to turn up any more S. batatas. However, an additional single specimen was found in Miami in early October 1995 by DPI Inspector Ramon A. Dones. Many bugs were found in suburban Miami by Julieta Brambila (University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) in late September 1996.”  The following food plants are also mentioned:  “The most important host of S. batatas appears to be sweet potato, after which it was named. Other hosts listed in the literature include Solanaceae [tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), eggplant (Solanum melongena var. esculentum), potato (Solanum tuberosum), and Solanum nigrum], Lauraceae [avocado (Persea americana)] and Rutaceae (Citrus spp.) (Ravelo 1988, Martorell 1976, Alayo 1967, Barber 1939, Wolcott 1923). Observations in Florida indicate that S. batatas adults sometimes disperse in high numbers. Thus, transient adults could be collected on a wide variety of plants. It is not known which of the above host records represent breeding populations.”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you – this information is very helpful. I have been picking them off because the morning glory is at the edge of our vegetable garden and we found more of the nymphs on the other side of the garden. We also have an avocado tree nearby so we don’t want to take any chances that they might spread further.
I appreciate your response.
Helen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flower Wasp ID?
Location: Blyth, SA
December 25, 2015 8:13 pm
Can you a specific ID for this wasp. Just turned up 130km north of Adelaide – about 8 of them. Dec 2015. Thanks for your help. Lovely little creature & seems oblivious to us – was burrowng in sand & bark litter.
Signature: Ian Roberts

Blue Flower Wasp

Flower Wasp

Hi Ian,
This is definitely a Flower Wasp or Mammoth Wasp in the family Scoliidae.  It looks very similar to this individual we believe we correctly identified as a Blue Flower Wasp,
Scolia (Discolia) verticalis.  There is a similarly marked individual on Bold Systems, and this FlickR posting from Western Australia looks like your individual, but it is only identified to the genus level.  Bower Bird has a Flower Wasp identified as Laeviscolia frontalis that has the two spots evident on the abdomen of your individual, and an image on Ipernity supports that ID, but another image on Bower Bird does not appear to have the yellow color near the head.  So, we cannot be certain of the species, but we are confident with the family Scoliidae.

Hi Daniel
Thanks for that – nice to have them zipping around.
Regards
Ian Roberts

Subject: Moth-like creature
Location: Sydney, Australia
December 30, 2015 2:32 pm
Hi Bugman!
Last night we saw a large moth-like creature on our wall outside. This morning we see it has left behind a very interesting chain of eggs(?) that are attached to our ceiling with insect like legs. I didn’t get a picture of the insect itself, just the eggs. If you have any idea at all please let me know!
Signature: Tom Shamrock

Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs

Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs

Dear Tom,
These are Neuropteran Eggs, quite possibly the eggs of a Blue Eyes Lacewing.  See these images on the Brisbane Insect site for verification.

Thanks Daniel! You are definitely right, many thanks for that we just couldn’t work it out!
Tom

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found long ago
Location: Not sure. Texas?
December 31, 2015 10:39 am
Found this bug in a box, saveso by me as a child. Long antennae orange, but black at eaxh segment. Longhorn beetle of some kind? Elytra is purplish-black, somewhat iridescent. Six legs, orange, black at the joint segments. Orange thorax with two spots, like false eyes.
Signature: RRH

Red Headed Beauty

Red Headed Beauty

Dear RRH,
We are still catching up on old submissions from our two week holiday hiatus.  It is very exciting that you found this old specimen in a childhood collection box.  We were so thrilled to be able to identify your Longhorned Borer Beetle as a Red Headed Beauty,
Stenaspis verticalis insignis, on BugGuide after being let to it by the Longhorn Beetles of Texas site. It is also pictured on Cerambycidae Catalog Search.

Thank you! I knew I had a Longhorn but had trouble from there! It’s a beauty.
R

Subject: Caught a Bug in Home
Location: South Jakarta, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia (island of Java)
January 8, 2016 8:41 am
Not sure what this bug is. Came home after dinner to find it sticking on a wall. Caught it and placed it inside a plastic container. Plan to release it soon, just curious what it is.
Pretty small, I estimate no more than 4 centimeters.
Thanks a bunch! Really curious!
Signature: Guy in Java

Kissing Bug

Kissing Bug

Dear Guy in Java,
This sure looks like a Kissing Bug in the genus
Triatoma to us.  Kissing Bugs are in the news in the U.S. lately because they are known to spread a virus that causes Chagas Disease, especially in Latin America.  We didn’t know if there were reports of Kissing Bugs in Indonesia, so we did some research.  Though we cannot read what it says, the Blognya Mbak Widha (BMW) site does have an image of a Kissing Bug.  A scholarly article, The Rising Importance of Triatoma rubrofasciata indicates the species has spread to Viet Nam.  Thanhnien News states:  “Kissing bugs, so called because they tend to bite (and defecate) on the victims’ faces and lips, are moving from the jungle into residential areas in Vietnam in large numbers.”  The Vectors of Chagas Disease indicates at least two species, Triatoma leopoldi and Triatoma pugasi, are found in Indonesia, though it is uncertain if Old World species carry the virus.

Ed. Note:  We don’t often have instances of plagiarism, but we believe we have been duped by Idk (email address name Clio Baumgardner) with this image which does not appear to have been shot by Idk, despite the claims in the body of the submission.  We overlooked the copyright information on the image which does not match either the Idk signature or the Clio Baumgardner return email address.  Once we began to suspect, after Eucharitid expert John Heraty wrote “it certainly didn’t come from California (Old World only),” we located the image on the Myrmecos Blog Best Insect Photos of 2009 and credited to Rundstedt B. Rovillos.  We also found it on FlickR where it is also credited to Rundstedt B. Rovillos.  Plainly and simply, stealing images from the internet is dishonest and it is plagiarism.  Idk is a thief.

Subject: Weird Bug
Location: California
January 10, 2016 2:41 pm
I found the super weird bug hanging in my favorite picnic spot, I’m wondering what it is! Luckily I got a clear shot of the bug. 🐜🐞🐌
Signature: Idk

Eucharitid Wasp

Eucharitid Wasp

Dear Idk,
This really is an unusual looking insect, and our gut instincts said “Parasitic Hymenopteran” however we could not find any matching images on BugGuide.  The feathered antennae are quite unusual for Hymenopterans, which include Ants, Bees and Wasps, so we did a web search of “wasp feathered antennae” and we discovered this image on FlickR that is identified as a Eucharitid Wasp from the Philippines with this information:  “Eucharitid wasps are specialized parasitoids of ants. Larvae develop inside ant nests feeding on ant brood. Adult wasps sometimes form large mating swarms in meadows, where the females oviposit in plant material. Young larvae attach themselves to passing ants, or to ant prey items, to be carried into the ant nest.”  There is another image with no information on Pinoy PHotography.  We couldn’t find any images on BugGuide with that distinctive thoracic spine, though we did find a species on BugGuide,
Pseudochalcura gibbosa, that has feathered antenna.  We found a similar image on the UC Riverside site, but there is no species name.  PBase has an Ecuadorean individual called a Bison Wasp.  We would really like to be able to provide you with a species identification, so we are contacting Eric Eaton for his input.  Could you also provide us with a city in California where this Eucharitid was sighted?  We hope they prey on invasive Argentine Ants.

Eric Eaton Responds
Hi, Daniel:
Happy New Year!
I found I already liked the Facebook page for WTB, and saw this posted there.  I have shared it with the “Hymenopterists Forum” group, which is filled with experts on all things ants, bees, and wasps.  Someone there should be able to offer help.  I’ll keep checking the results.
Eric

Identification by expert John Heraty:  Schizaspidia species
Daniel:
This, from John Heraty, a world authority on the family:
“This is Schizaspidia (Eucharitidae), but it certainly didn’t come from California (Old World only).”
Eric

We write back to Idk for clarification.
Hi again Idk,
Please clarify where in California this image was shot as it is not a California species.  It is also curious that the name on the file is Rundstedt B Rovillos, which is different from the Idk you signed and the Clio Baumgardner return address on the email.

We write to Rundstedt.
Dear Rundstedt,
This gorgeous image was just submitted to What’s That Bug? and after posting it and having it identified as a Schizaspidia species thanks to the opinion of Eucharitid expert John Heraty, we realized that the image was plagiarized from the internet.  We hope you will allow us to continue to keep the image on our site, correctly credited to you.
Daniel Marlos

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. I am the owner of this image.This tiny wasp was photographed at La Mesa Ecopark located in Fairview, Quezon City Philippines several years ago.
Yes, you may keep this image on your site to inform others about this beautiful creature.
Cheers!
Rundstedt Rovillos