Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Down Under"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this other than a giant scary horned caterpillar
Location: Perth Western Australia
April 24, 2014 3:31 am
Hi! Hoping you can help me out. Saw this creature/monster crawling across my lawn late this afternoon. Its the second one we’ve seen and we’re really curious as to what it will be! It was about 3 inches long (maybe slightly more) and slightly furry looking. Almost like felt. The pics make it look purple but it was more of a beige colour with a bit of red/tan. And those horns!!! Any ideas?
Signature: Nicole

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Hi Nicole,
We struggled a bit on this identification, but we eventually found some images of your Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar,
Entometa fervens, on the Butterfly House website where it states:  “This is a large fleshy Caterpillar with soft downy hairs. It is sometimes smooth, sometimes rough, sometimes brown, and sometimes mottled with cream and grey. The variable nature of the caterpillars suggests that the name Entometa fervens is being applied to a complex of several species. More investigation is needed to clarify this.  The caterpillar has a prominent projection on the back near the posterior end, and a pair of fleshy filaments behind the head. It is solitary, and feeds at night on a variety of Gum Trees.”  The image on the Queensland Museum site through us off as it looks so different from your images.  It is also pictured on the Brisbane Insect website.

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What insect is this?
Location: Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia
April 20, 2014 6:04 am
Hi there,
I came across this insect by some flowers in Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia. I can’t say I’ve seen anything like it, so I thought I’d see if you know. Thanks.
Signature: Chris

Possibly Carrot Wasp

Possibly Carrot Wasp

Dear Chris,
Of this we are certain:  This is a parasitic wasp that is classified as Parasitica or Parasitic Apocrita, which is not a true taxonomic category, but it is a means to group parasitic wasps together.  We believe it is a Carrot Wasp in the family Gasteruptiidae, which we identified on BugGuide, and then verified on the Atlas of Living Australia as being a family that is found in Australia.  We may be wrong, but the look of the hind legs and the antennae as well as the ovipositor are good indications that we are correct.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are predators or predators-inquilines (consume larval food, not the larvae) of other Hymenoptera that nest in twigs and in wood.”  The Atlas of Living Australia notes:  “Females oviposit in the nests of solitary bees (Apidae) and wasps (Vespidae) , where the larvae are predator-inquilines, eating the host egg or larvae and consuming the pollen store. Adult gasteruptiids may be seen on flowers or hovering near bare ground, logs or trees.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what moth is this
Location: australia
April 17, 2014 3:52 am
my daughter found this and has been trying to find out what it is i’v looked everywhere i have no idea what it is
Signature: :D

Vine Hawkmoth

Vine Hawkmoth

For some reason, we are having difficulty uploading your image.  Your moth is the Vine Hawkmoth or Gabi Moth, Hippotion celerio, which we found on the Butterfly House website where it states:  “The moth is agriculturally important as it is one of several species largely responsible for the pollination of Papaya ( Chamaedorea tepejilote ).”  More information can be found on Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What are these tiny bugs?
Location: Melbourne Australia
April 9, 2014 1:11 am
Hi There,
I noticed thousands of these tiny little bugs sheltering on an indigenous tree & a neighbouring fence bollard today. i’m guessing the very small red ones are the nymph stage of the slightly larger ( still only a couple of millimeters ) black and white ones. I’m not sure if they would normally be in the tree as we have had an unusually large amount of rain in the last few days and they might have been trying to get to higher and dryer ground. They look like they might be some kind of harlequin beetle to me but if they are they have a long way to get to the size of the ones I sometimes see around.
Hopefully they don’t all survive to adult stage if that is the case as I will have trouble getting through my front door!
Signature: Nick A

Coon Bugs, perhaps

Coon Bugs, perhaps

Hi Nick,
We have been researching this for some time now, and we believe we may have the correct answer for you.  Our first stop with Australian identifications is often the Brisbane Insect website, and we found some images of individual bugs that look somewhat like the winged adults in your incredible aggregation images.  They are identified on the Brisbane Insect website as Coon Bugs or Cottonseed Bugs in the family Oxycarenidae and this information is supplied:  “
Oxycarenus luctuosus or A. [we presume a misprint that should be O.] arctatus, body length 5mm.  The Cottonseed Bugs are small in size. Their back is triangular-patterned in black and white colours. We found them on our hibiscus plants on early spring. The nymphs are black in colour with blood-red abdomens.”  That description matches your images.  We did find the family represented on BugGuide where it states:  “formerly treated under Lygaeidae” and “worldwide, mostly Old World, esp. Palaearctic & Afrotropical(1); in NA, more diverse in the west.”  BugGuide also notes:  “seed-eaters; hosts include plants in a dozen families (there are cotton pests in this family, but not in NA).”  The Atlas of Living Australia has sightings in South Australia including on the border of Victoria, your state, but none close to Melbourne.  Furthermore, there are none in Queensland, the state where the Brisbane website originates.  No reported sightings doesn’t mean that they are not found there, just that no sightings have been reported to the Atlas of Living Australia.  FlickR has a nice set of images of closeups of Coon Bugs, but none show the incredible aggregation that you have documented.  Biodiversity Snapshots indicates they are found “Throughout Australia, including across Victoria.”  Finally, we located an image on FlickR that is identified as Coon Bug, Oxycarenus arctatus, and there is a link to a pdf that states:  “Coon bug, Oxycarenus arctatus, and cottonseed bug, Oxycarenus luctuosus, which are seed and fruit feeders, live by preference on malvaceous plants, such as the weed marshmallow, and hibiscus and cotton. Occasionally they swarm on other cultivated plants, damaging their growth, and on fruit trees, especially stone fruits. They suck the juices of the ripening fruits, leaving dried discoloured patches. If younger fruits are attacked they shrivel and exude gum. These small bugs often swarm around fowl yards, on fences and around the bases of walls of houses and outbuildings. The two species look similar, about 3 mm long and black and white as adults. The nymphs are black with blood-red abdomens.”

Close-up of Coon Bugs

Close-up of Coon Bugs

We are creating a new category for your Coon Bugs in the family Oxycarenidae.

Coon Bugs

Coon Bugs

Hi there again,
Many thanks for your searching efforts and yes, I can confirm that the bugs were indeed coon bugs after checking your links.
The tree they were congregating on ( due to all the rain I think ) is on the edge of a park that has a lot of the mallow weed in it so that makes sense also.
Once again thanks for your work. I am greatly impressed with your site and the work you did for me.
regards,
Nick from Melbourne.

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge Waspe
Location: Adelaide, Australia
April 2, 2014 7:28 pm
I walked outside and felt a pain in my foot and saw this huge thing guarding the bin. Its the biggest I have seen in Adelaide – what is it a potter wasp?
Signature: Andrew Perrott

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Andrew,
We find it amusingly ironic that the “huge thing” which is the “biggest [you] have seen in Adelaide” is also one of the tiniest images we have ever received for identification purposes.  We would love to post a larger version of this image of a Spider Wasp if you have one and can provide it in a subsequent email.

Yes i figured out its a spider wasp through google – we have never seen one like this here

Thanks so much for attaching a higher resolution image.

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

i no have a red itchy foot – i am not sure what it did to me, either bit me or stung me

We would suppose you were stung.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Feather Horned Beetle
Location: Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia
March 23, 2014 12:03 am
Hey Bugman,
Came across a Feather Horned Beetle today on a walk around Berry’s Beach and Pyramid Rock on Phillip Island Victoria, Australia. Your site allowed me to determine what it was, and noticed you didn’t have many photos so here’s one for your collection :)
Cheers,
Signature: Lauren

Feather Horned Beetle

Feather Horned Beetle

Dear Lauren,
Your Feather Horned Beetle,
Rhipicera femoralis, is a wonderful addition to our archives.  Thank you so much for sending in a photo of a magnificent species that you had already self-identified.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination