Are these figeaters that we have in the compost pile?
January 10, 2010
We found A LOT of these grubs in our compost pile. Is our compost pile considered “infested” now and shouldn’t be use? Are they crawlybacks or figeaters? Though I never saw it crawl on its back. Do I pick them out? If they are figeaters does that mean the figs in my fig tree will be subject to attack? :-)
Angel
San Jose, CA

Crawly Back

Crawly Back

Hi Angel,
You are absolutely correct.  These are Crawly Backs, the larvae of the Green Fruit Beetle or Figeater, Cotinis mutabilis.  The idea of a compost pile is that organic material is broken down by decomposition and the action of insects and worms.  The Crawly Backs are assisting in the composting process.  The beautiful adult beetles will eat fruit, but unless they are extremely plentiful, they will probably not significantly damage your fig crop.  We expect birds and squirrels will eat more figs than the Figeaters.  We would leave the Crawly Backs in the compost pile.  We could not locate many images of Crawly Backs online, but we have out own posting from 2008 and Ask.Com has a nice image and some information.

Crawly Backs

Crawly Backs

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Please I.D. this fly for me
January 7, 2010
these photos were taken on the 4th July 2009 at the side a track which runs along side a woodland which is within the very large area of Britains largest lowland raised bog area called Thorne Moor in South Yorkshire.The weather was warm still and sunny at the time
Malcolm Corps
South Yorkshire, England, U.K.

Unknown Fly

Tachinid Fly

Dear Malcolm,
We have been obsessed with trying to identify your magnificent black fly with a golden head, but alas, we have had no luck.  The Bioimages website Diptera page is rather difficult to search for images and it proved fruitless.  www.gwydir.cemon.co.uk is a nice website with numerous photos of flies, but again, your distinctive fly is not represented.  We believe this is a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  We would not rule out a Bee Fly in the family Bombyliidae, or it may even be in some other family.  We have finally decided to post your photos and request assistance from our readership and we will also be writing to Eric Eaton to see if he can at least provide the family.

Unknown Fly

We believe the third photo you submitted is of a different species since the wing pattern is different.

Another Unknown Fly

Eric Eaton provides an identification
Yes, this is definitely a large tachinid fly, Family Tachinidae, maybe Tachinia grossa.  The third image is of the backside of a different fly, and that one is a flower fly (Syrphidae), specifically Volucella pellucens.
Eric

Green Caterpillar
January 10, 2010
Please can you identify this caterpillar. It was found on a yellow jasmine in early January in North Cyprus. (The coin in the pictures is a Turkish 1 lira coin about the size of a two euro coin. many thanks
Geoff
North Cyprus

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Hi Geoff,
This is the caterpillar of Acherontia atropos, the Death’s Head Hawkmoth that gets its common name from the pattern on the thorax of the adult moth.  That pattern resembles a skull, and the insect was used on the movie poster for the movie Silence of the Lambs.  Here is a link to a website with additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dung Beetle
January 10, 2010
Fairly large dungbeetle that flew into the lodge at knight, Gess it to be an Elephant Dung Dungbeetle
Natie le Roux
Ladysmith, Kwazulu Natal, RSA

Dung Beetle

Dung Beetle

Hello Natie,
Thanks for sending us your photo of a Dung Beetle.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to identify the species.

Sticky-looking bug from UAE
January 10, 2010
I found this chill guy sitting on the porch one night in United Arab Emirates, in the more rural area. He looks like a sort of a mix between a praying mantis, a stick insect and a grasshopper (look at those long hind legs!), but I can’t really identify him with any sort of accuracy.
To scale, I’d say he was about two and a half to three inches long.
Maria
United Arab Emirates

Acrida bicolor

Acrida bicolor

Hi Maria,
This unusual insect is a desert dwelling Grasshopper, Acrida bicolor, and we have not been successful in locating a common name.  We received some nice images of Acrida bicolor back in 2008 and we located an Israeli website with some nice photos of the species.

Praying Mantis laying eggs
January 10, 2010
Dear what’s that bug,
my best wishes for the New Year in order to continue your great job. I found this adult female praying mantis at 25th of December 2009.

Unknown Preying Mantis

 Preying Mantis

Its length is approximately 2cm (0.79inch) and it gave birth at 5th of January 2010. Except of the identification, is it possible to tell me for how long will it live and around what season will the eggs hatch? Are there any special conditions that I should preserve the eggs? Many thanks for your life saving assistance…
Praying Mantis laying eggs
Southern Greece, Northwest of the island of Crete, Municipality of Chania, Kastelli

Mantis laying Ootheca

Mantis laying Ootheca

We are uncertain of the species, and we spent a bit of time trying to research Greek mantises.  This is a small mantis, and we hope one of our readers can supply a species identification.  In colder climates, the ootheca or egg case passes the winter and hatches in the spring.  In milder climates, we would expect the ootheca to take several months to hatch.  You do not need to give the ootheca any special care.  Your photos are very nice.

Unknown Preying Mantis

Preying Mantis

Karl delivers an identification
Hi Daniel:
There are at least two species of tiny mantids in the region, the common European dwarf mantis (Ameles spallanzania) and the much rarer Geomantie larvoides. Both are less than 3 cm in size and both show considerable color variation. However, G. larvoides has round eyes and is completely wingless in both sexes, while A. spallanzania has more typically conical eyes and only the females are flightless, although they do retain small vestigial wings. The wide upturned female abdomen is also notable for A. spallanzania. Therefore, I think this is likely a species of Amelas, quite possibly A. spallanzania. Regards.
Karl