Hispellinus australicus
Tue, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:56 PM
Hi guys,
I came across a couple of these elusive leaf beetles in my yard. To the naked eye they are just a very tiny plain black beetle. They are only about 2mm long. I did a google search on them and only found a few entries and no photos so thought you might like to be the first site with a picture. I love their spiky wing case.
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Leaf Beetle:  Hispellinus australicus

Leaf Beetle: Hispellinus australicus

Hi Trevor,
Thanks so much for giving us the honor of posting your landmark photo of Hispellinus australicus, a Leaf Beetle.  It surely is a distinctive looking specimen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bugs and Parasites for TV documentary
Tue, Jan 13, 2009 at 6:20 PM
Hi there,
My name is Sina and I work for a television production company in New Zealand. In March we are sending a crew to Mexico to film for a series about biting bugs and parasites which people can experience when they are travelling. I’m writing because we are having trouble finding contacts for a couple of the stories we are hoping to film, and I’m hoping that someone might have a contact or lead in the US or Mexico? Ideally we would like to speak to someone who is collecting or studying these creatures. We have a presenter who would need to interact with the bug, first hand.
The stories are:
Human Botfly
Blackfly
Hylesia Moth
Any help would be much much appreciated!!
Thanks
Sina Walker
Mexico
swalker@nhnz.tv

Human Bot Fly

Human Bot Fly

Hi Sina,
We will post your letter as an announcement on our site and hopefully you will get a few responses.

Green Buprestid from Iran
Tue, Jan 13, 2009 at 6:47 AM
Green Buprestid from Iran
Hi,
Thanks for this very nice and informative website,
One of friends gave me this lovely buprestid. It had a very brilliant, Emerald green color but after pinning (Really tough work to get through the elytra, you all know!) its just pale metallic green. I just want to know its scientific name.
Yours, Mohsen Arooni,
Tehran, Iran

Metallic Borer Beetle

Metallic Borer Beetle

Hi Mohsen,
Many years ago we identified a similar looking Buprestid from Italy (if memory serves us correctly) but we are having problems locating that posting since our site migration in September. Perhaps it never made the transition. We are going to search through our old Dreamweaver files in an attempt to locate it. Meanwhile, perhaps one of our readers will write in with an identification.

Ed. note:
We spent a goodly portion of time searching our old website and found several postings that did not migrate, including the Mediterranean Flathead Woodborer from October 2003, but it looks nothing like this Buprestid.

Update: Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 6:18 AM
Daniel:
Maurizio Gigli maintains a terrific Jewel Beetle (family Buprestidae) website. Mohsen Arooni’s beetle is likely in the genus Julodis . It could be J. andreae or J. onopordi, but it looks more like J. ampliata. Their geographic distributions are somewhat different. I assumed this one was from Iran, but I also thought that it might just be the location of the poster. Knowing the origin of the specimen may be helpful. Regards.
Karl

http://utenti.romascuola.net/bups/jewel.htm

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black and white Polka dot moth
Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 2:10 PM
Can you identify this moth for me? It is not the polka dot wasp moth I know, but I am curious. It was about 1.5 inches in wing spread.
Susie Watson
Gill’s Rock, Wisconsin

White Spotted Sable

White Spotted Sable

Hi Susie,
Your moth is a White Spotted Sable, Anania funebris, which we quickly identified on bugGuide.  It is diurnal, and often mistaken for a butterfly.  The species is similar looking to the Eight Spotted Forrester.  The White Spotted Sable is a Snout Moth in the family Crambidae.

Possible wheat cricket?
Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 11:36 PM
I was taught as a kid that a “koringkriek” (corn cricket) is the redish creature attached as per image 1.
I, however found the creature as per image 2 & 3 and when I asked friends and family, some of them was of the opinion that the latter is indeed a koringkriek.
Kindly advise which one of these, if any, is indeed a corn cricket and if not, what are they?
Marsél
Kempton Park Gauteng

Unknown Orthopteran

Parktown Prawn

Hi Marsél,
Apparently our knowledge of world geography is quite lacking as we needed to first research where Gauteng is located. Now we know it is in South Africa. The identification requests may take a bit of time, and we want to post your images before we do any actual research as we need to leave for work shortly. We are hoping our readership (Hi there Karl) may be able to assist us on this. Both of your insects are Orthopterans, an insect order that contains grasshoppers and crickets, and in the
in the suborder Ensifera, the Long Horned Orthopterans with long antennae. Many Orthopterans have common names that include the word cricket, but they are not real crickets, like the North American Jerusalem Cricket. South Africa has some Wetas, also found in Australia and the closest relatives to the Jerusalem Crickets of the American Southwest in the family Stenopelmatidae, but we are not certain your examples are Wetas. They may also be ShieldBack Katydids in the subfamily Tettigoniinae. Some of these are also called crickets like the Mormon Cricket of Utah.

Unknown Orthopteran

Shieldback Katydid: Koringkriek

When we googled “koringkriek”, we found an image identical to your second image and the scientific name Eugaster longipes, except your example is male and the other female.

Update from Eric Eaton:
Hi, Daniel:
I believe that the first of the two images of South African orthopterans is a female “Parktown Prawn,” Libanasidus vittatus (Kirby), a member of the family Anostostomatidae (formerly part of the Stenopelmatidae). At the very least, the image must be in that genus (Libanasidus). They are apparently common in Johannesburg.
Your identification of the second image appears correct (it is a shield-backed katydid unrelated to the Parktown prawn).
Eric

Update:
Thank you so much for the prompt response.
My apology, I did not pay attention and thought that it was a local website, which would also explain my use of the Afrikaans word “koringkriek”
Afrikaans is one of our official languages and my mothertongue.
My apology for the confusion; at least something good came from it in that you now know more about South Africa.
Kind regards
Marsél

No Problem Marsel,
Thanks to the World Wide Web, everything is local.

Update: Sun, Jan 11, 2009
Daniel:
Oh, the wacky world of South African Orthoptera! The first photo appears to be of a King Cricket (Libanasidus vittatus), most commonly referred to as the “Parktown Prawn”. Google any of those names and you will get lots of photos and reams of articles. I have included two links below. It is in the family Anostostomatidae, which also includes the Weta. This harmless creature seems to get an awful lot of bad press in South Africa, especially considering that it feeds mostly on slugs, snails and cutworms. The second photo looks like it is probably a Corn Cricket, but that name and Armoured Corn Cricket are associated with a number of scientific names (including Eugaster longipes, as you mentioned). I even found several sites claiming the scientific name Cantankerous fella; the photos looked close but I couldn’t verify the validity of that name to my satisfaction. The Field Guide to Insects of Southern Africa lists 4 species of Armoured Ground Crickets (family Bradyporidae) in 3 different genera, all with the common names corn cricket and koringkriek. I am inclined to go with Enyaliopsis sp. (link below – I couldn’t nail down a species). Regards.
Karl

Gorgeous Mystery Caterpillar
Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 8:49 AM
Greetings,
I found three of these little guys, first they were with blue patterns with black and when i took the pic they were green, i havent seen these guys before or anything like them, they also have a funny little tail, they seem very timid and slow, could you please let me know what they are exactly, and what are their needs?
Siraaj Aziz
Durban, South Africa

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death

Hi Siraaj,
At first we were going to write back and just say that you found a species of Hawkmoth Caterpillar in the family Sphingidae, commonly called Hornworms because of the caudal horn.  When we googled Sphingidae Africa, we quickly found an image of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar, Acherontia atropos, on a Biodiversity of South Africa website and we feel pretty confident that is your species.  The adult moth is pictured on the movie poster of the Academy Award winning Silence of the Lambs and played a role in the narrative of that film.  Regarding the d
erivation of name , according to the Biodiversity website:  “The Death’s head hawk moth is so called because of the skull-like pattern on the thorax . As far as the latin name is concerned, according to Pinhey (1975) : ‘Atropos, one of the Fates, was a daughter of Nox and Erebus and was illustrated… with veiled face and a pair of scissors to cut the thread of life. This is the thoracic pattern of a mask with scissors below it. A sinister but undeserved portrait.'”  Excellent information and more photos can be found on the Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic website.  The downward curve of the horn is distinctive in the mature caterpillar and is evident in one of your photographs.  By needs, we are presuming you want to raise the caterpillar to maturity.  Your photo of the yellow caterpillar indicates it is mature, or fifth instar and that it will soon pupate.  You should continue to feed the Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar with leaves of the plant on which it was found, and provide it with several inches of loose soil, not too moist and not too dry.  The caterpillar will dig into the dirt to pupate.  When its metamorphosis is nearly complete, the pupa will wriggle to the surface, the skin will split, and an adult moth or imago will emerge.  We would love it if you are able to provide us with images of the adult Death’s Head Hawkmoth.

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death