Crested Tooth-grinder
Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 4:15 PM
Hi Guys,
Here is a strange one for you, a Crested Tooth-grinder, Ecphantus quadrilobus. This is a 4th instar nymph. While apparently widespread in Australia this is my first encounter with one. Here is a link http://140.247.119.138/albums/Album_1/source/10.html
with a bit more information. Hope you like this unusual guy.
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Crested Tooth-Grinder

Crested Tooth-Grinder

Hi Trevor,
What an interesting looking Grasshopper you have sent us for our archives.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I want to identify this bug
Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:46 PM
I thought ants were eating something on a stem of my tomato plants – a lot of bugs together in one black spot – upon further investigation, they were these little spikey aphid looking things – photo included – can you tell me what these bugs are – I have gardened in CA for 40 years and have never seen these bugs – they don’t seem to be causing any damage that I can see – thanks
i don’t care
Orange County California

Keeled Tree Hopper Nymphs

Keeled Tree Hopper Nymphs

Dear i don’t care,
These are immature Keeled Tree Hoppers, Antianthe expansa.  The adults are winged green insects.  Both immature nymphs and adults are plant sucking insects that may spread viral infections to your garden plants.  This species is most fond of the solanaceous plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  The ants “farm” the immature Keeled Tree Hoppers to milk the honeydew from the insects much the same way they farm aphids.  In our own Los Angeles garden, we tend to find the immature Keeled Tree Hoppers on our mature tomato plants in autumn and winter where they congregate on the woodier stems beneath the leaves.

Pure White insect on floor of sulawesan rainforest
Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM
Viewing the variety of colors and shapes in the insect world on your site is a truly humbling experience. What I have found distinctly lacking are “bugs” that are pure white. When I have come across insects that are white, they always have some markings.
While walking the Tangkoko Rainforest in North Sulawesi a few weeks ago, I asked my guide to identify the white object on a leaf. He stated that it must be some feather of a bird. Clearly, my guide had never seen such a bug before. As Ralph Emerson said: “People see what they are prepared to see.”
This is the second pure white insect I have seen, the other in a woodpile in Rwanda which I sent to you without response.
Can you identify this one for me? I would be interested on thoughts on pure white insectss.
Thanks!
Dr. Sal Sclafani, Brooklyn, New York
Tangkoko Rainforest, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Probably Fulgorid Planthopper Nymph

Probably Fulgorid Planthopper Nymph

Dear Dr. Sal Sclafani,
This is some species of immature Homopteran, a member of the now defunct order that includes aphids and planthoppers.  Some immature Homopterans secrete a white waxy substance that forms filaments and the wax is a protection for the soft bodied insects.  We suspect this may be one of the Fulgorid Planthoppers, but we are not certain.  There is a spectacular Central American Planthopper, Cerogenes auricoma, that also produces the waxy filaments as an adult.  In the interest of correct modern taxonomy, the Fulgorid Planthoppers are, according to BugGuide, now classified  thus:  “Order Hemiptera – True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha – Free-living Hemipterans
Superfamily Fulgoroidea – Planthoppers
Family Fulgoridae – Fulgorid Planthoppers “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

pink dragonfly
Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 2:55 PM
his beauty is from my trip to Hong Kong in August. I have never seen one this color and thought I would share it with you for the upcoming holiday season…even though it is hot pink.
polymersn
hong kong

Unknown Dragonfly

Trithemis aurora

Dear polymersn,
Magenta is quite an unusual color in the insect world. Certain katydids have this bright jarring coloration, but they are color sports and not typical. We have never seen such color in a Dragonfly, but a google search for “pink dragonfly hong kong” turned up a matching image on Flicker identified as Trithemis aurora. The TrekNature website has information on the species, but the image is not of a brightly colored individual. There is also online reference to the common name Dawn Dropwing or Crimson Dropwing. We visited numerous websites while trying to gather information on the Dawn Dropwing, and there are many photographs posted online, but your photo is, in our critical estimation, the loveliest we encountered.

Identifying Spider Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 12:31 PM
I found this spider when I reached for my soap dispenser in my bathroom! It was in June. The spider was approximately 2″ by 2″. My husband captured the spider on the side of a kleenex box and he “thinks” it made it safely outside. I have not seen it since. By the way, we live in the town where the movie “Arachnophobia” was filmed. Thanks for you help!
Judy
Central Coast of California

Giant Crab Spider:  Foreign Invader or Movie Extra Escapee???

Giant Crab Spider

Hi Judy,
We thought your spider looked like one of the Giant Crab Spiders, but we didn’t recognize it, so we wrote to Eric Eaton. Here is his response: “Daniel: The spider is a male in the family Tengellidae, related to giant crab spiders. I believe it is an introduced species, native to somewhere overseas, but not recognized as dangerously venomous. Might be in the genus Titiotus, but not sure. There should be some online fact sheets about it since it is such a large spider and easiy commands attention. Eric” Eric’s response made us ponder the possibility that perhaps several of Aracnophobia’s extras escaped and found your town to their liking. It would be an example of life imitating art. We were also quite impressed with your bathroom. Since our recent remodel, we have white bathroom tile with white grout, but it seems our grout always looks dingy. We would love to hear your cleaning secret.

Cricket-like insect, red and black
Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 8:18 PM
Hi,
I saw an insect I’ve never seen before while hiking in the San Jacinto Wilderness near Idyllwild, California. I saw the bug this month (November 2008) at an elevation of around 8000 feet. I saw at least five of them scurrying on boulders and through the grass. They normally crawled, but when startled they could jump several times their body length.

Unidentified Shield-Backed Katydid

Shield-Backed Katydid

The insect’s body strongly resembles a cricket, but I’ve never seen crickets with those colors. Also, all the bugs had their tails pointed up in the air. It looked like they could adjust the angle of their tails.
I’d really like to find out what I saw! Thanks for your help.
Thanks, Dan
San Jacinto Mountains, California

Unidentified Shield-Backed Katydid

Shield-Backed Katydid

Hi Dan,
The best we can do for you is to identify your insect as a Shield-Backed Katydid in the subfamily Tettigoniinae. Earlier in the week, we got another different species from Mt. San Jacinto, and when we requested assistance from Eric Eaton, he wrote back: “Could be yet another new species, lots of katydids still undescribed from California.” Eric was going to request assistance from an expert in the Subfamily, and your submission may also benefit from the expert opinion. Often high elevation species have very limited habitats because they are unable to travel from one mountain peak to another, much like island species are limited by geographic obstacles. We hope, in time, to be able to provide at least a genus name for your distinctive Shield-Backed Katydid.

Unidentified Shield-Backed Katydid

Shield-Backed Katydid

Update:
Daniel:
Here is what he had to say about the other two katydid posts….
Eric

Sunday, November 30, 2008, 5:25 PM
Hi Eric,
1. I noticed two new posts about katydids at WhatsThatBug.com – the first
one is another report of the new genus from California (Ted Cohn was going
to name it Jacintobates), …
2. Decticinae had been synonymized with Tettigoniinae by Dave Rentz, only to
be resurrected as a tribe Decticini by Storozhenko. There is no question
that this group is a monophletic lineage, and it is rather irrelevant
whether it is given a subfamilial or tribal status. I am inclined to call
them a tribe, but they appear as a subfamily in many papers.
Cheers,
Piotr Naskrecki