What eats that bug and what does that but eat
Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 12:41 AM
I am wondering whether Red back spiders have anything to do with my bug, especially if they eat red back spiders (will be very happy if they do) or if red back spiders eat my bug (will need information on getting rid of the bugs if that’s so).I would also like to know if they are native to Australia or not.
Tasha Storey
Melboure Australia (my backyard in Cheltenham)

Unknown True Bug from Australia

Unknown True Bug from Australia

Hi Tasha,
We are having a bit of difficulty identifying your species of True Bug.  We are not even certain if the family is a Cotton Stainer in the family Pyrrhocoridae, a Largid Bug in the family Largidae, a Seed Bug in the family Lygaeidae, or possibly a Scentless Plant Bug in the family Rhopalidae.  We will continue to research and hopefully a reader can provide an answer if we cannot.  We are certain that it will not feed on Red Back Spiders and they have no relationship to the spiders except in coloration.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

beetle with orange feelers
Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 10:47 PM
I live in Sydney, Australia and found a bunch of these beetles in my orange tree today….
any ideas about what they are? and are they pests?
Cheers
Sydney, Australia

Bronze Orange Bug

Bronze Orange Bug

Dear Cheerful,
Bronze Orange Bugs, Musgraveia sulciventris, are True Bugs and not Beetles.  They are actually Stink Bugs.  You may read more about them on the Geocities Brisbane Insects website.
Since they suck the sap from young plant shoots on citrus trees, they are not an advantageous species in the garden.

Mating Bronze Orange Bugs

Mating Bronze Orange Bugs

Food Chain Meat ants v Scarab beetle
Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 9:37 PM
Our Australian meat ants, Iridomyrmex purpereus, are omnivorous and quite as happy eating the flowers off my zucchinis as any hapless critter that stays still long enough. Farmers will sometimes use a nest as a disposal system for animal carcasses. A nest may have around 85000 ants and they can reduce a full size cow to just bones in about three days. Their bite does not sting but they will chomp on you if you are in their way in bare feet.. This scarab beetle, Exochogenys nigripennisare, will be little more than a snack.
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia although widespread

Meat Ants devour Scarab Beetle in Australia

Meat Ants devour Scarab Beetle in Australia

Wow Trevor,
Thanks for the exciting documentation of the Australian Meat Ants and the Scarab which you have identified as Exochogenys nigripennis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black moth with red spots
Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 8:49 AM
Since it’s resting with its wings open, is it a moth? Also, what’s a good website that helps you learn the major categories of butterflies and moths? I don’t know where to begin with this one.
Kiskadee
Lake Yojoa, Honduras

Diurnal Moth

Diurnal Moth

Dear Kisdadee,
This looks like a Diurnal Moth to us, but we haven’t the time to research the exact species at the moment since it is the end of the semester and work has piled upon us. One of our faithful readers, Karl, has been doing a wonderful job of identifying many unidentified species we have posted lately. Perhaps he will write in with an answer. Though Honduras is outside of the range that is covered by the web site, we like BugGuide for our identifications of North American species. After writing that, we began to think that this moth reminds us of the Faithful Beauty, Composia fidelissima, and we tried to research that genus, but without any luck.

Hi Daniel:
This is actually a butterfly called the Red-Bordered Pixie (or just Pixie), Melanis pixe . It is a metalmark (family Riodinidae), and it ranges throughout Central America as far north as the extreme south of Texas. Regards.
Karl

Update: Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 7:28 AM
Dear Daniel,
Met a local butterfly expert. He tells me it’s a butterfly (not a moth), Melanis pixie, belongs to the Riodinidae family and the catterpilar eats on plants of the Fabacea family. It is slow flying and tends to rest on the underside of leaves. It is fairly common even in San Pedro Sula, it goes from sea leavel to 1400 meters over sea level.
Kiskadee

Unidentified Hemiptera
Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 3:58 PM
Hi!
I was hoping you can help me identify this insect. I know it belongs to the true bug or Hemiptera group.
They are abundant in a small area of tall grasses and spiny bushes near Ciudad Guzman, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, within sight of the Zapotlan lake. Although they are most common during the warm season, this one I photographed during winter.
There seem to be several species with different markings on their wings and body. This one is rather dull colored (except for the metallic blue section between the wings, which Im afraid didnt get too well represented in the photos), there are others with bright white, black and orange spots. Some are much bigger than this one.
They usually hide underneath leaves or spiny branches, and if they see you look at them, they move so that they remain hidden. If handled for too long, they shoot a red-orange or brown liquid that smells like a marker and is seemingly absorbed by skin within seconds. I haven´t felt any kind of effect after being shot with this fluid.
They fly, but not often. They seem to be fond of spiny bushes and acacia, but I’ve also found them in pine trees, sometimes in groups. I’ve seen some eaten from the inside by fungi.
I hope this information is useful.
Dragonfly Man
Near Zapotlan lake, Jalisco, Mexico

Giant Mesquite Bug

Giant Mesquite Bug

Dear Dragonfly Man,
This is a Giant Mesquite Bug, Thasus acutangulus. The winged adults are considerably less colorful than the wingless nymphs, which are black, orange and white as you describe. The thorny shrub you describe is probably mesquite, the favored food plant.

PLease tell me what this bug is and where it’s coming from??
Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 10:45 AM
Hello, we are purchasing a foreclosure home that has been vacant since May 2008, vacant except for an infestation of these little critters (see picture). They are only outside, seem to be hovering around the overgrown bushes and weeds and living in the gaps of the wood beams. By infestation I mean thousands. They are slow moving and huddle in groups.They are grey/black with red markings and about 3/4 inch long. They don’t appear to fly. If you could please tell me what they are, why they are there and if they are dangerous I would appreciate it.
Karen Wondergem
North Glendale, Arizona

Small Milkweed Bugs

Small Milkweed Bugs

Hi Karen,
These are Small Milkweed Bugs, Lygaeus kalmii, and they are perfectly harmless.  The insect feeds on the pods of Milkweed Plants, and it is possible that the previous owner had a butterfly garden.  It is also possible, though you did not indicate the actual circumstances, that this home is part of a new development that was originally natural open space.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “it normally feeds on the pods, stems, and seeds of the milkweed.  As this plant seems to be declining locally in the face of human progress, the insect will no doubt become increasingly rare.”