Lefty and Digitalis have 8 swimming fry
February 20, 2010
Two weeks ago, Lefty and Digitalis laid eggs on the filter intake pipe again.  They have been laying eggs every two weeks since last year when their second brood was removed to the grow out aquarium.  The eggs either have grown fungus, or the fry have died before becoming free swimming.  Two weeks ago, I collected rain water for addition to the aquarium (about 4 gallons) and I began feeding the pair some live mosquito larvae that developed in an outdoor water storage area.  When the eggs hatched, I shut off the filter to prevent the wrigglers from getting sucked in.  The pair moved the wrigglers between a plant leaf and the pipe for several days.  Three days ago, the young started falling from the pipe and were captured in the parent’s mouths and returned.  I decided to hatch some brine shrimp just in case.  Three days ago, the fry started swimming some.  There were about 20.  Two days ago, after a day of swimming, the parents collected the fry to spend the night on the driftwood branch that has replaced the dying Amazon Sword Plant.  I also tried to remove as many tiny snails as possible, though that is a losing battle.  Yesterday, there were only 8 fry remaining, but they are swimming and eating newly hatched brine shrimp.

Digitalis with some fry

I am finally ready to post some new photos of Angelfish fry, and I am hoping these 8 guys survive.  I am at least encouraged that my Angelfish may start to produce broods of young again.

Digitalis and Fry

I never figured out why the eggs of either pair were not viable between September and January.  I am not sure if it is water conditions, or diet, but whatever the reason, things may be turning around.

Lefty (top), Digitalis and Fry

February 23, 2010
The day after posting, the number of swimming fry dropped to only 4, but they are still alive and eating well.

February 26, 2010
Two days ago, Lefty and Digitalis laid more eggs on the filter intake pipe.  This morning the hatched wrigglers were moved by the parents to the driftwood.  There are still four remaining fry, so it will be interesting to see what happens with two broods in the same aquarium.  Perhaps I should move the four larger fry to the nursery aquarium, but I feel I should let nature take its course and trust that the parents know how to deal with older siblings.

March 2, 2010
Alas, there is but one remaining fry from the first recent spawning, but there are about 100 new small fry that are just beginning to swim.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A tiny green Australian spider
February 19, 2010
Hi again,
I quite like this small ‘two-headed green frog spider’ I found inside our house. Would you be able to identify it?
Ridou Ridou
Sydney Australia

Crab Spider

Hi again Ridou,
This is a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae, and there are several species pictured on the Brisbane Insect Website.  We are uncertain as to what species you have submitted, and part of our confusion arises from the variability of many species.  One North American species known as the Goldenrod Crab Spider, Misumena vatia, is known to be able to change its coloration based on the color of the flower or plant upon which it prowls for prey.  You can see some of these variations on BugGuide.  Crab Spiders are easily identified because the two pairs of front legs are considerably longer than the two pairs of hind legs.  We found many nice images of Crab Spiders on the Save Our Waterways website, and there is where we believe we matched your spider to Sidymella rubrosignata.  An image on Wikipedia supports that identification.

Black Nail Beetle – Brisbane – Queensland
February 20, 2010
hello again WTB-ers :)
Here is another first for WTB and yet another curious bug i have come across – this time in my yard! This is the Black Nail beetle ( Repsimus manicatus) from the scarabaeidae family.
Its got the most “muscular” thighs i have ever seen on a beetle, and its legs end in hooks – certainly felt very funny walking on me!
Wish it had stuck around longer so i could take more photos (it must have had some important muscular bug business to attend to) – thought you may like to add it to your collection 😀
Dreaded Bug Queen
Ashgrove – Queensland – Australia

Black Snail Beetle

Dear Dreaded Bug Queen,
Thank you so much for sending us this awesome set of photos, and also for providing us with an identification.  The Brisbane Insect Website has some nice photos, but not much helpful information on the species. The Hunter Valley Backyard Nature website classifies the Black Snail Beetle as a Christmas Beetle and has some wonderful images of mating activity.  BioLib has the more scientific taxonomy of placing the Black Snail Beetle into the family of Shining Leaf Chafers, Rutelidae.

Black Snail Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

aussietrev foodchain
February 19, 2010
Hi guys,
Thanks for clearing up that velvet ant gender. This Lynx spider has caught herself a pod boring bug but is having to share it with minute flies that feed on the victims of spiders. I guess they must be immune to the effects of venom or feed before it has made its way through the body of the bug.
Queensland. Australia

Common Lynx Spider and Freeloader Flies eat Pod Sucking Bug

Hi Trevor,
This is such an intricate Food Chain image and we are impressed with the excellent focus and detail on the individuals.  The Common Lynx Spider is well represented on the Brisbane Insect website, but the prey you have indicated, the Pod Sucking Bug, is not recognizable in your photo.  We did locate images of the Pod Sucking Bug, Riptortus serripes, on the Brisbane Insect website.  You sent us another example of Kleptoparasitism with Freeloader Flies last year, and we did extensive research at that time on the phenomenon.  These Freeloader Flies are in the family Milichiidae, and the Biology of Milichiidae page has this information:  “Another very interesting feature of Milichiidae behavior is kleptoparasitism or commensalism. Species of several genera suck at the prey of spiders or predatory insects such as Reduviidae, Asilidae, Mantidae, or Odonata. Mostly they are attracted to predators feeding on stink bugs (Pentatomidae) or squash bugs (Coreidae) (Frost 1913, Robinson & Robinson 1977, Sivinski & Stowe 1980, Landau & Gaylor 1987). In almost all cases it is only the females that are kleptoparasitic. In some cases a close association between milichiid and predator has been postulated, because it was observed that the fly “rides” on the predator for some time, staying with the one predator rather than changing between different predators (Biró 1899, Robinson & Robinson 1977).
”  Irina Brake is the expert on this fascinating family.
Interestingly, in the past two days, we have received numerous beetle corrections from a Dr. Trevor J Hawkeswood of Australia, and we lamented that we have not had any recent submissions from you.

Common Lynx Spider and Freeloader Flies feed on Pod Sucking Bug in Australia

Dear What’s That Bug
February 18, 2010
I’ve been finding these little beetles all over my garden during the last few months. Can you tell me what they are? They seem to like plants and when I dug up some mint recently there were loads of them in the soil around the roots.
Thanks for your help.
Cape Town South Africa

Possibly Mating Cotton Stainers

Hello KAte,
These are True Bugs, not beetles, and we believe they may be Cotton Stainers in the family Pyrrhocoridae.  We found one photo that matches on a South African website, but the species is not identified.  We also found reference to a South African Cotton Stainer, Dysdercus nigrofasciatus, but we have not had any luck finding a photo, but trying a web search of Cotton Stainer South Africa produced an image on Flickr.

Hi Daniel and Kate:
They do look like Cotton Stainers (also Red Bugs or Fire Bugs). I think they are likely in the genus Cenaeus, of which there are several species in South Africa. They appear to be a very close match to C. carnifex. You could also compare to photos provided at the Diversity Explorer and Zandvlei Trust web sites. Regards.

six legs, wings, body similar to dragon fly
February 18, 2010
While fishing in Canada last summer, we woke up one morning to find these creatures completly covering our boat and dock. I took a picture of one of them, because they just suddenly appeared one morning, and I didn’t see them after that.
I took a picture of this flying creature while fishing at Eagle Lake in Ontario CA, and I’m curious at to what it might be.
Daniel F
Eagle Lake-Ontario Canada


Hi Daniel,
This is a Mayfly in the order Ephemeroptera, and we believe it is Hexagenia limbata, a Giant Mayfly, based on images posted to BugGuide.  Adult Mayflies do not feed, and they live long enough to mate and die, often providing food for fish and birds when they appear in astronomical numbers.  The name for the order has its root in the Greek word “ephemeros” which refers to the adults living for a single day.  Your observation is consistent with the life cycle of this awesome insect.  As an angler, you should be aware that many fishing lures are patterned after Mayflies.  You might also consider using Mayflies as live bait, especially after reading this post from our website.