Currently viewing the tag: "Unidentified"
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Subject: Large spider from Ecuador
Location: Vilcabamba, Ecuador
February 1, 2015 3:28 pm
Hey I recently found this spider hiding in my towel! Have tried looking at different possibilities but none seem to fit the bill. It was found in September, in Vilcabamba , Ecuador. Someone suggested it was called Jamaco by the natives here, a type of bird-prey spider, but im not convinced. Any help would be greatly appreciated to satisfy my curiosity of who this visitor was!
Signature: Etienne

Tarantula

Tarantula

Dear Etienne,
This is some species of Tarantula, but we are not certain of the species.  The Spinnerets on the tip of the abdomen are especially pronounced in your individual.  According to Tarántulas de México:  “Spinnerets are movable structures located in the rear of the opisthosoma, and are in charge of expelling and placing the silk web produced by four internal glands. As the silk passes through the ducts and reaches the spinnerets, its molecular structure changes and becomes very resistant. It comes out through small tubes located by the hundreds in the lower part of the spinnerets; then the silk dries, and reaches the consistency we all know.  Tarantulas have four spinnerets: The two lower ones are small, and the higher ones are larger and very mobile.”  We did locate a similar looking Ecuadorean Tarantula on Susan Swensen Witherup’s Ithaca College profile.  Maria Sibylla Merian’s 17th Century illustration of a Bird Eating Tarantula was a hotly debated issue in her time and that illustration caused her to fall out of favor among naturalists because of questions of its authenticity.  According to Tarantulas of Ecuador:  “
Theraphosa Blondi
The largest species of tarantula is also called the goliath bird-eating spider, and its leg span can reach up to 12 inches. They are burrowers and spend the majority of their lives inside their homes, never moving more than a few feet away even while hunting. They prefer swampy areas near water, where their brown bodies will blend into the surroundings. Considered extremely aggressive, these spiders do not make good pets, and are prone to biting — their 1-inch fangs can do a great deal of damage, although the venom is not fatal to humans. The typical diet of this spider includes amphibians, rodents, insects, snakes and the occasional small bird.”  It is pictured on Wonderful Insects by Frank Fieldler, and it does not resemble your Tarantula.  Perhaps one of our readers can provide information on the identity of your Tarantula.

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Subject: tropical fly
Location: Highlands, Papua New Guinea
January 31, 2015 12:16 am
Found this in our village where we work as missionaries. Never seen anything like it and am wondering what kind it is. (See attached pic)
Signature: David Ogg

Tachinid Fly

Tachinid Fly

Dear David,
This is a beautiful and colorful Fly, and we are relatively certain it is a Tachinid Fly in the family Tachinidae.  Tachinid Flies are parasitoids.  The female lays an egg on a very host specific prey, and the larval Tachinid Fly feeds on the internal organs eventually killing the host, at which time it will form a puparium and eventually emerge as an adult Tachinid Fly.  According to BugGuide:  “Larval stages are parasitoids of other arthropods; hosts include members of 11 insect orders, centipedes, spiders, and scorpions. Some tachinids are very host-specific, others parasitize a wide variety of hosts. The most common hosts are caterpillars. Most tachinids deposit their eggs directly on the body of their host, and it is not uncommon to see caterpillars with several tachinid eggs on them. Upon hatching the larva usually burrows into its host and feeds internally. Full-grown larva leaves the host and pupates nearby. Some tachinids lay their eggs on foliage; the larvae are flattened and are called planidia; they remain on the foliage until they find a suitable host.”  We are attempting to provide you with a species identification for this distinctive, probable Tachinid Fly.  The Tachinid Collection pictured on Tachinidae Resources includes
Rutilia (Donovanius) regalis, which looks similar to your individual, but we are not even certain of that species’ range.

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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: Plagued by bugs!!
Location: Newcastle nsw
January 24, 2015 7:57 am
Hi there,
I live in Newcastle nsw Australia and have been plagued by bugs for the past 6 months. They are irritating my skin and my partners. We get itchy and have open sores all over our bodies, mainly just behind our ears and on the neck, legs, arms, face, back, hands and feet, well everywhere! We had pest control come and exterminate what he believed to be bird mites several types he said, funnily enough he wouldn’t come back again because he was tired and won’t take our calls now . Initially the problem died down but now 2 months later is back full force, it’s not scabies, it’s possibly a million other things but we can’t seem to find any help with this. Tonight I was in the bathroom and this long spindly legged thing appeared from nowhere, I know I have seen it several times around the house but have no idea what it is and if it could be a factor in the skin dilemma.
Signature: Rachel

Unknown Hymenopteran

Possibly Red Spider Ant Alate

Dear Rachel,
We are relatively certain that the pictured insect is not responsible for your skin irritation, and we believe that Mites are most likely the problem.  The pictured insect is a member of the order Hymenoptera which includes wasps and ants.  We are leaning toward it being the alate of an Ant, a winged reproductive individual, though the legs are quite long for a typical ant.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide us with a more definitive identification.  Again, we do not believe this Hymenopteran is related to your skin condition.  This individual does resemble the Red Spider Ants pictured on the Brisbane Insect website.

Unknown Hymenopteran

Possibly Red Spider Ant Alate

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Subject: Darth Vader Cockroach
Location: Southern Pacific Mid-level forest, Costa Rica
January 25, 2015 11:49 am
Hi! This is a follow-up submission with another couple of photos. The roach is not B.dubia. It doesn’t have the same markings, shape of pronotum is different, and it climbs glass. So WHAT is it? It is from Central America. Not an indoor pest. Very uncommon.
Signature: Mary B. Thorman

Cockroach

Cockroach

Hi Mary,
Thanks so much for providing additional excellent images of this mysterious Cockroach as a followup to your nine year old original submission.  We hope this new posting will generate a positive identification for you.

Cockroach

Cockroach

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Subject: Unknown winged insect
Location: SE Baton Rouge, Louisiana
January 19, 2015 7:50 am
I was refilling my bird feeders when this insect dropped off the remains of a seed block onto my trash container. The critter measured about .75 inch from front feet to tail.
From the looks of those antennae my guess is that he navigates by scent or vibration rather than vision.
Any idea what it is?
Signature: Russ Norwood

Male Midge

Male Midge

Dear Russ,
This is a male (yes those antennae enable him to locate a female) member of the order Diptera that includes Flies and related insects with two wings.  We suspect this is a male Midge or male Gnat and it looks quite similar to this image of
 Apsectrotanypus johnsoni that we located on BugGuide, however, BugGuide indicates a size of 4mm, which is considerably smaller than the 3/4 inch you have indicated.  We will try to determine the species identity of your large male Midge.  Of the Lake Midge from further North, BugGuide indicates:  “Wing length typically 5.9 mm, occasionally as long as 7.5 mm. Male body length typically 10, occasionally as long as 13 mm. This is the largest member of the family.”

Thanks for the rapid reply as well as for your very interesting response.  My estimate of size was rough, so is probably best taken with a grain of salt.  I included everything from the tip of the (abdomen?) to the tips of the two extended front legs.
Thanks to your kind response I looked up the species elsewhere.  This reference on wikipedia mentions that some may feed on sugars.  For what it’s worth, the seeds in the block remnant on which I found him were glued together with sugars.
I’ve made a donation Daniel.  Thanks again.
Russ Norwood

Thanks for your kind donation Russ.  We are still awaiting a response from Eric Eaton to see if he recognizes you Midge.

Eric Eaton Responds
Hi, Daniel:

It is indeed a male midge, family Chironomidae, and some can get pretty large.  There is somebody that has written a book about midges of the southeast, … John Epler.  Here’s his web page link:
http://home.comcast.net/~johnepler3/index.html
Eric

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