Currently viewing the tag: "Unidentified"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Aquatic Larva

Aquatic Firefly Larva

Subject: Unknown aquatic macroinvert
Location: Huntington, Indiana
October 11, 2014 9:27 am
Hey bugman!
The college ecology class I teach found this critter while sampling a small, wooded creek on our campus. I’ve shown the picture to a couple of aquatic ecologists I know and none of them have been able to identify it yet. The best we can come up with is that it is some sort of free living caddisfly (Trichoptera). The “shell” looks a lot like an aquatic isopod though! It definitely had only 6 legs. ~1.5-2 cm in length.
Any ideas?
Signature: Collin Hobbs

Hi Collin,
We haven’t a clue as to the identity of your creature, but we wonder if it might be the larva of an aquatic beetle because it really resembles a Firefly Larva or a Netwing Beetle Larva.  We are not certain if there are any aquatic beetle larvae that look like this, but we believe that is a more likely candidate than the larva of a Caddisfly.  We will try contacting Eric Eaton to see if he can provide any information.

Eric Eaton confirms our identification
On my way out the door, but….
Looks like a firefly larva to me, and there are species that prey exclusively on aquatic snails….

Ed. Note:  Beetles in the Bush and Cambridge Journals Online both have articles on aquatic Firefly Larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Bulldog Ant

Bulldog Ant

Subject: an insect & an arachnid
Location: melbourne, australia; auckland, new zealand
October 6, 2014 4:22 am
hi folks! you helped me with a bug once before, & i absolutely love your site – hoping you can ID these two critters from my trip to australia & new zealand this month.
the ant is about 5/8″ long & was found on the great ocean road, about 170 miles west of melbourne, australia.
the 1/2″ long spider was found on my neck in auckland, new zealand. 🙂
the third ant i believe i’ve correctly ID’d as a bulldog ant, but the photo came out so nice that i figured i’d submit it, too.
keep up the great work, you wonderful people.
Signature: lish d

Unknown Australian Ant

Unknown Australian Ant

Dear lish d,
We love your image of a Bulldog Ant.  According to National Geographic Magazine:  “Fearless and belligerent, the inch-long bulldog ant of Australia uses her sharp vision and venomous stinger to track and subdue formidable prey.  Picture a wasp with its wings ripped off, and you’ll have a good approximation of a bulldog ant. The resemblance is no coincidence: Ants are believed to have evolved from wasplike ancestors some 140 million years ago. The bulldog ant has long been considered one of the oldest ant lineages. But some recent studies suggest that bulldogs appeared no earlier than 100 million years ago, along with an explosion of other ant species that may have accompanied the rise of flowering plants. ”  We are unable to identify the creatures in your other two images, and we are posting the unidentified and rather forgetable other Ant which one of our readers may eventually be able to identify.
  We will not be adding the spider image to this posting as they are not categorized together in our archives, they are not from the same country, and we don’t want to speculate if they met one on one.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bugs on privet hedge
Location: Kenya
September 28, 2014 6:27 am
Hi, we have an infestation on our privet hedges and originally thought it was a mould or fungus, however on closer inspection it appears to be an insect, they are less than 1mm long and are killing our hedges, the leaves turn sticky and black and then die and fall off leaving the privet bare – it does however seem to be re-sprouting, have attached some photos – any ideas what this is and how we can control it?
Signature: Thanks so much

Mite or Hemipteran??

Crawler:  Immature Scale Insect

Wow, we are totally stumped on this, though we believe we have narrowed the possibilities to two totally unrelated groups.  First we should state that insects have three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae, and arachnids have four pairs of legs (five pairs if pedipalps are included).  When we first viewed the thumbnails that are attached to emails we receive, it appeared that your creature had three antennae, but upon viewing the larger attachment, we cannot tell if we are looking at antennae or a fourth pair of legs.  The body of these creatures resembles the body on many immature Hemipterans, which are classified as insects, but the first pair of appendages, has us confused.  We cannot tell if the first pair of appendages is a pair of antennae or a pair of legs.  If antennae, then we are relatively certain these are immature Hemipterans, possibly True Bugs in the suborder Heteroptera.  True Bugs have mouths designed to pierce and suck, and many species feed on plants, causing damage that might include leaf loss.  Mites, which are Arachnids and which have four pairs of legs, might also cause damage to plants.  Since you did not indicate any larger individuals, we are speculating that these are Mites as many species are quite small, especially since you indicate they are only about 1 mm in size.  We are going to seek a more professional opinion on your request, and we are also going to feature your submission on our scrolling feature bar.  We thought we might have gotten lucky when we learned there is a Privet Mite, Brevipalpus obovatus, but your individuals look nothing like those pictured on Doctor Optimara or those on the North Carolina University site.

Thanks for the response, I will see if I can get some more photos of them today and send them over.
Kind regards,

Hemipterans or Mites???

Immature Scale Insects known as Crawlers

Eric Eaton provides a category:  Immature Hemipterans
Wow!  These appear to be “crawlers,” the immature stage of some kind of scale insect (Hemiptera:  Sternorrhyncha).  Outstanding pics.  If I get around to doing any more research on these (it is late Sunday night), I’ll pass along my findings.  Knowing the food plant helps a good deal.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large bee in North bay northern Ontario.
Location: Calendor northern Ontario
September 28, 2014 4:31 am
We noticed lots of bees on this particular fall day. Cannot seem to find any similar to identify.
Signature: Carol S Amour

Syrphid Fly, we believe

Syrphid Fly, we believe

Dear Carol,
This is not a bee.  If you inspect the image closely, you will see only one pair of wings, indicating that this is a fly, albeit one that mimics bees.  We believe your fly is in the family Syrphidae, the Hover Flies and Flower Flies, and many members in the family mimic bees and wasps as a means of protection.
  Though we have not had any luck locating an exact match, we believe your individual most closely resembles the members of the subgenus Eoseristalis that are pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: The Gambia

Location: Sami Pachonki, The Gambia, Africa
September 22, 2014 3:12 am
Found this sort of hemipteran looking bug in my garden one evening. He must be covered in some kind of fungus, but i’ve no idea what it is!
Signature: Dee

Unknown Immature True Bug

Unknown Immature True Bug

Dear Dee,
We agree that this looks like a Hemipteran, but we can be even more specific in our guess.  This appears to be a True Bug in the suborder Heteroptera, and it appears to be an immature individual.  Though it appears to be infested with fungus, we would also like to propose another possibility.  There is at least one species of Heteropteran that has a nymph that has a sticky exoskeleton that attracts lint and debris, effectively camouflaging the insect.  That species is the Masked Hunter, a species of Assassin Bug.  We hope we are able to provide you with a more concise identification that is not based on pure speculation.

Unknown Immature True Bug

Unknown Immature True Bug

Thanks Daniel!
that makes since, it was tracking my every movement even though i was a few feet away. Next time i see it i’ll invite it into my hut to eat all the critters running around in my rice bag roof.
thanks again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bewildering Fungus eater
Location: Singapore
September 9, 2014 6:39 am
Hi Daniel
Hope you’re well.
Was wondering if you could help me narrow down an ID for the attached insect. It was on a dead log together with a lot of fungus weevils and fungus beetles so I suspected it liked the fungus too. I’ve never seen anything like it before. As usual when I see something bewildering I think of you 🙂
Signature: David

What's That Beetle???

What’s That Beetle???

Dear David,
Your images are spectacular, and this is truly an odd looking beetle, and we haven’t even a guess at its identity at the time of posting.  Alas, we cannot research this at this time because we must rush off to work.  Perhaps one of our readers has a clue or the time to investigate.  It does appear to be carrying some Mites on the elytra.  The placement of the eyes is quite unusual, almost like those of a frog that lies submerged with only its eyes visible above water.

Beetle from Singapore

Bark-Gnawing Beetle from Singapore

Hi Daniel and David:
My first impression was that it looked like an odd Jewel Beetle (Buprestidae) but I could find nothing similar online. I believe this is actually a Bark-gnawing Beetle (Trogossitidae), a relatively small and obscure family of beetles. The dorsal markings resemble some Leperina (=Lepidopteryx) species, but I think there are too many dissimilarities for that to be the correct genus. I believe it is probably a species of Xenoglena, for which the lack of elytral scales and dorsally placed eyes are diagnostic. Information is generally lacking for Asian Trogossitidae, but Kolibáč (2009) provided a very complete (and technical) description of the family. Google Books provides access to this document – see page 46 for discussion and page 37 for representative pictures of Xenoglena sp.  I have a feeling it could be X. deyrollei, but I have found no image for that species so I really can’t be certain.  If you have difficulty accessing that site the same information for Xenoglena sp. is also provided  Despite the common name for the family, these beetles are actually predatory. According to Kolibáč (2009) “Adults dwell on fallen trees and dry branches, hunting for xylophagous insects. They fly and run at great speed and appear very like some jewel beetles in body shape.”  Regards. Karl


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination