Subject: UNKNOWN GRASSHOPPER
Location: Botriver Western Cape
January 30, 2015 6:24 am
Hi Bugman,
My hubby and I were in Botriver over the past two weeks ie. 14 to 25 Jan 2015.
We captured this stunning picture of what we believe is a grasshopper of sorts. Absolutely beautiful, never seen anything like it in my life.
Thought you might like to have a look at it and maybe identify it for me?
thanks so much.
kind regards
Signature: Judy

Green Milkweed Locust

Green Milkweed Locust

Hi Judy,
Your images are stunning and this Grasshopper is gorgeous.  It is a member of the family Pyrgomorphidae, commonly called the Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers.  They feed on milkweed, and many species are ably to synthesize and store compounds from the plants that render the grasshoppers toxic.  They also have aposomatic or warning coloration to ward off predators.  Your individual is a Green Milkweed Locust,
Phymateus leprosus, and you can verify our identification on iSpot.

Green Milkweed Locust

Green Milkweed Locust

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Subject: Haitian Sensation
Location: Cap-Haïtien, République d’Haïti
January 30, 2015 12:45 am
Hallo,
What an informative website. So, Giant Crab Spider, Sparassid, Olios, I guess. May I ask for some help in identification, please? This was seen in northern Haiti … no unnecessary carnage though I can’t speak to her relationship with the local cockroach community.
Thank you,
Signature: James

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Hi James,
You have the family correct, but this Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider is
Heteropoda venatoria, a species that has spread to warm coastal cities throughout the world with shipments of bananas, hence another common name of Banana Spider.  This individual is a male.

Subject: Wasp or Moth in Costa Rica
Location: Golfito, Costa Rica
January 29, 2015 1:03 pm
Hello Bugman,
I found this insect around midnight on our concrete drive on the edge of the rainforest. The metallic blue and gold abdomen and the red head parts along with those wing were quite striking. Any ideas on what it could be? Thanks.
Signature: Ocho Verde

Wasp Moth

Wasp Moth

Dear Ocho Verde,
You are correct that this is a wasp mimic moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, but we are having a bit of difficulty with a species identification.  It reminds us of the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth,
Empyreuma affinis, and we suspect it might be in the same genus.  We will contact lepidopterist Julian Donahue to see if he can provide an identification.

Julian Donahue provides correction.
Nowhere near that, but it is a ctenuchid. Without access to the collection, after checking references at hand there are several possibilities, but from what I can gather it looks most like Poliopastea mirabilis (type locality: Colombia), but I wouldn’t take that to the bank without actually examining the specimen and comparing it to specimens in the collection.
Sorry I can’t be more definite, but I’ve run out of time. (I can tell you that this species doesn’t occur in French Guiana, whose ctenuchids have recently been monographed and illustrated.)
Julian

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Subject: Bug in Somalia
Location: Hargeisa, Somaliland
January 29, 2015 11:13 am
Dear sir , do you have any idea what this one might be? I photographed it in Hargeisa (Somaliland, East AFRICA) on 29 January 2015. Eric
Signature: Eric

Armored Ground Cricket

Armored Ground Cricket

Hi Eric,
This is a Katydid, and it looks very much like the Armored Ground Cricket from Namibia we posted last year that Piotr Naskrecki identified as
Acanthoproctus cervinus.  We will contact Piotr to confirm the species.

Daniel
Wow that was quick!!!! Thank you so much!

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Subject: Weird Orange Spider UK
Location: Cambridge, UK
January 29, 2015 1:22 am
I found this in our outside covered pool. It is held pretty warm in their all year round. Took some pics and tried to locate what it was but no idea.
Signature: James Sore

Orbweaver

Orbweaver

Hi James,
This is an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, but we are not certain of the species.  Orbweavers are often large colorful spiders that attract attention because they generally wait for prey in a classic orb web.  Large Orbweavers may bite if carelessly handled, but they are not dangerous to humans.  See some of the individuals on Ray Wilson Bird & Wildlife Photography.
  The Garden Spider, Araneus diadematus, on the Photography Obsession page looks like a good match.  The Garden Spiders pictured on Nature Watch exhibit considerable color variation.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so very much. It has put my mind at rest. I had never seen one before and was worried that the artificial temperature of the covered pool was harbouring something a bit exotic !!
Thanks once again.
James

Subject: Interesting ladybug from Johannesburg
Location: Northern Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
January 29, 2015 5:24 am
Hello, I head the Eco-Schools initiative from HeronBridge College in Johannesburg, South Africa. We have started an initiative at the school called “Wild HeronBridge”. The aim is to compile lists of the creatures that share our space so we often have photos of bugs etc. that we would love to have identified. This is a case in point. It was photographed earlier in January at HeronBridge, which is in the extreme northern parts of Johannesburg, province Gauteng, South Africa. it looks like a Cheilomenes but the colour and patterning are different from the regular red orange variety. We would greatly appreciate it if you could ID it for us so that we can add it to our insect lists.
Signature: HeronBridge College

Beetle

Beetle

Dear HeronBridge College,
Do you have a larger file with greater resolution?  Are there any views showing the head of the beetle?  We are more inclined to speculate that this is a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae, but we would like to see a better image prior to researching its identity.

Hello
Thanks so much for your email regarding our insect.  Unfortunately there was only one picture taken of the bug but here it is with a better resolution.  We really appreciate any assistance you can give us!
Regards
Charlotte

Leaf Beetle we believe

Possibly Lunate Ladybird Beetle

Thanks for providing a higher resolution image Charlotte.  The plant it is on has a distinctive seed pod.  Can you provide the name of the plant?  That may assist in a proper identification of the Beetle, which we still believe to be a Leaf Beetle.

Leaf Beetle we believe

Lunate Ladybird Beetle on Datura, we believe

Hi Daniel
Thanks again for your perseverance with this identification!  I have found out that the plant it is on is and it is interestingly a poisonous plant – Datura Stramonium:
Datura stramonium, known by the common names Jimson weed, Devil’s snare, or datura, is a plant in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. It is believed to have originated in the Americas, but is now found around the world.[1] Other common names for D. stramonium include thornapple and moon flower,[2] and it has the Spanish name Toloache.[3] Other names for the plant include hell’s bells, devil’s trumpet, devil’s weed, tolguacha, Jamestown weed, stinkweed, locoweed, pricklyburr, and devil’s cucumber.[4]
From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura_stramonium
I hope this helps – especially as it must be quite an amazing beetle to be able to eat a poisonous plant.
Regards
Charlotte

Hi Charlotte,
Thanks for the well researched plant identification.  We did a quick search and did not come up with anything regarding Leaf Beetles, but that information should prove helpful.  We wish there was more detail in your beetle image.  We did some additional research and there are several similar looking Lady Beetles in the family Coccinellidae in South Africa, including the individual on South African PHotographs, and the ones pictured on BioDiversity Explorer.  The image of
Cheilomenes lunata on BioDiversity Explorer might be the closest. The Lunate Ladybird Beetle is well represented on iSpot.

Hi Daniel
Thanks so much – you have been extremely helpful!  Having had a look at the pictures I concur with you that the Cheilomenes Lunata comes the closest.
Much appreciated – we can post it on our Wild HeronBridge blog – where we post interesting creatures we find at the school (http://heronbridgecollege.co.za/blog  – if you have a moment!)
Regards
Charlotte

Thanks for providing a link to your wonderful blog.