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

Subject: What is this bug!!!!
Location: Sydney
December 12, 2013 5:54 pm
Howdy,
My wife took a photo of this and after a bit of searching, could it be a Spider Wasp?
I have 2 kids under the age of 2 who love to play outside, are they a pest and should i try to exterminate them?
Signature: Michael

Spider Wasp stalks Spider

Spider Wasp stalks Spider

Dear Michael,
You are correct that this is a Spider Wasp, and it is stalking a Spider in one of your photos.  You do not need to fear this Spider Wasp attacking your children unless they look like spiders, which we highly doubt.  Female Spider Wasps are more concerned about providing food for their broods than they are about stinging innocent children, though we would not entirely discount the possibility of getting stung if the Spider Wasps are handled or stepped on.  Again, we want to stress that they are not aggressive toward humans and we don’t believe there is any need to take the steps to exterminate them, which would probably be nearly impossible anyways.  Social Wasps pose a much greater threat because they try to defend their nests, while solitary wasps like Spider Wasps do not have the same defense instincts.  We will try to identify both the wasp and the spider after we do some yardwork in our own neglected garden.  Alas, you photo does lack critical detail, but the spider appears to be a Wolf Spider.  We have nice photos in our archive of a Spider Wasp preying upon a Wolf Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Who is this cute little guy?
Location: Gladstone in Central Queensland Australia
December 13, 2013 4:47 am
This little fellow came to visit my cousin in Gladstone, Queensland , Australia, just a few days ago. We googled all sorts of feather horned creatures but didn’t find anything quite the same. What’s this bug?
Signature: Sue

Featherhorned Longicorn

Featherhorned Longicorn

Dear Sue,
Though you used a good key word, it is understandable that you had trouble identifying this Featherhorned Longicorn,
Piesarthrius marginellus, since there are not many good photos of it online.  We have several nice images of the Featherhorned Longicorn in our own archives, and your image might be the best of them.  We also located a beautiful image of the Featherhorned Longicorn on The View from Vinegar Hill blog.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth Identification
Location: Barrington Tops, NSW
December 11, 2013 3:04 pm
My wife and I were camping recently near Barrington Tops NSW and came across an enormous moth which we would like to identify.
The moth was quite docile and as it had landed on a temporary structure which was about to be taken down my wife carefully picked it up and we moved it to a nearby tree. The moth’s abdomen was pumping and it appeared to be about to lay eggs, it was quite heavy according to my wife.
Signature: Happy Camper

Giant Wood Moth

Giant Wood Moth

Dear Happy Camper,
We believe your moth is in the family Cossidae, the Wood Moths or Miller Moths, and we believe your individual is the Giant Wood Moth,
Endoxyla cinereus, which has the distinction, according to the Australian Museum website, of being “the heaviest moth in the world, with some females weighing up to 30 grams.”  The Australian Museum elaborates on the life cycle:  “The larvae of some species of wood moths are better known as witchetty grubs and bore into smooth-barked eucalypt trees. As they grow, the tunnels left behind in the bark increase in width. They may spend up to one year within the tree before emerging as moths. The newly emerged, small caterpillars lower themselves to the ground on silky threads where they are thought to feed on plant roots. As adults they are unable to feed and only live for a few days. The heavy females lay about 20,000 tiny eggs before dying.”  Csiro also has a photo of the Giant Wood Moth.  The distinctive striped legs are evident in the photo of the living specimen posted to Butterfly House which states:  “The adult moths have a variable vague pattern of light and dark grey or brown on the wings, including a darker spot near the middle of each forewing. The forewings each have a sinusoidal inner margin, and the hindwings a convex inner margin. The moths are very large. The females are larger than the males, and have a wingspan up to 23 cms.”  The family page on Butterfly House notes that caterpillars of moths in this family are wood borers known as Witchetty Grubs.  Witchetty Grubs are edible.

Giant Wood Moth

Giant Wood Moth

Hi Daniel,
Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my query and for providing such a wealth of information.
Happy Holidays!
Curtis & Ingrid Brager

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unkown bug
Location: Brigadoon Western Australia Perth
December 10, 2013 7:02 am
Hi,
I don’t know much about entoemology and generally find the answers to my questions of what’s that bug from my family and friends. This time however I’ve not managed to find an answer and google hasn’t yielded any results. I would very much like to know what this is so I can stop traipsing the internet for an answer.
Signature: thankyo uvery much Chez

Hairy Backed Pie Dish Beetle

Hairy Backed Pie Dish Beetle

Hi Chez,
Many years ago, we received a similar image that we identified as a Pie Dish Beetle, but it took us five more years to identify it to the species level.  We believe you have submitted an image of a Hairy Backed Pie Dish Beetle,
Helea perforata.

Hairy Backed Pie Dish Beetle

Hairy Backed Pie Dish Beetle

There are many more images online now than there were when we first were asked to identify this unusual Darkling Beetle, and now you can find great images on Friends of Queens Park Bushland where it states:  “Pie-dish beetles feed on dead and decaying plant material.  Pie-dish beetles lay their eggs in moist soil during summer and autumn, usually under clumps of rotting plant material, under which adults often shelter. Females of some species can lay up to 1,000 eggs during their life spans. The rate of egg production appears to be related to temperature. So is the time of hatching, which ranges from seven to fourteen days after the eggs were laid.
After hatching, the larvae can be found in loose clusters on the top of moist soil, dispersing as they develop. When fully grown, they burrow deeper into wetter soil where they build a circular pupal chamber and change into pupae. One to three weeks later, the adults emerge. At first they are soft and light brown, but they harden after about a week and the body becomes dark brown or black, the colour depending on the species. Soon after emergence, mating occurs and eggs develop three or four weeks later. Adult pie-dish beetles can be relatively long-lived (up to a year).”  Esperance Blog has an image of a mating pair of Hairy Backed Pie Dish Beetles.  Your comprehensive views of the individual you encountered are an excellent addition to our photo archive.

Hairy Backed Pie Dish Beetle

Hairy Backed Pie Dish Beetle

Yay!,
Thats an awesome name for a beetle and makes sense, we’ve recently built a compost bin by the house for our food scraps so I look forward to seeing more of these curious creatures wandering around the general area.
Thankyou very much
Chez

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown bug ….to me!
Location: See letter above:  Tootgarook on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
November 30, 2013 10:54 pm
Hi, my name is Annie. On November 28, 2013 , at 3.50 pm, I noticed this bug on my plant. I have never seen it before and some research work came up with nothing similar at all. I posted a photo on Instagram in the hope someone could tell me, but so far no one does, even though several people have joint me in the research, lol! The back part of its body is bright yellow and black, and it appears to have some water blisters on it’s back., not rain drops as it was a dry and sunny day. The front part of its body is a reddish-dark brown and shiny, it has hairs all over its legs and upper body, and it reared up as in self-defence when I came closer. This bug was found in my garden in Tootgarook on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia . The photo I included is taken with a zoom lens, and is pretty much enlarged to its full capacity. Hope it is still good enough for you to identify this bug, lol! Thank you so much for your willingness to look into this kind of things, it is quite fascinating to get to know bugs better!
Kind regards: Annie.
Signature: Annie J Den Boer

Flightless Female Flower Wasp:  Thynnus species

Flightless Female Flower Wasp: Thynnus species

Dear Annie,
We have several similar images in our archives very similar to this creature, and in 2010, we did significant research and we thought we had identified a photo as a Flightless Female Flower Wasp,
Thynnus apterus.  We are not entirely certain the species is correct, but we are relatively confident with the genus.  Today we found a photo of a mounted pair of Thynnus brenchleyi on the Agriculture of Western Australia website that confirms the genus, if not the species.  There is no female Thynnus apterus pictured on Agriculture of Western Australia.

Dear Daniel.
Thank you so very much for this quick reply! I think the two compare well, although I have to admit that the one I photographed has more and also brighter yellow on the top of its back, but that could possibly have to do with age and/or variety, and quality of the photo!
I am very happy to be able to let this student in America know and tell him your website and the one of Agriculture of Western Australia, so he can have a look for himself.
Again, thank you so very much for your help, it is much appreciated,
With kind regards: Annie j Den Boer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red Footed Cannibalfly?
Location: Sydney, Australia
November 27, 2013 7:14 pm
Hello,
I believe this is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, after seeing similar pictures on your site! Thank you for your informative pages, I was just so curious to identify this insect when I saw it catch a bee and fly away with it!
I am in Australia, and it is summer – have never seen or heard of these before… are they common to Australia? I was wondering where they typically live/breed (trees? burrows?) and are they harmful to pets at all?
Signature: Evie.

Robber Fly with prey

Robber Fly with prey

Hi Evie,
The Red Footed Cannibalfly is a North American species of Robber Fly, and your individual is a Robber Fly as well, but a different species.  It appears that your large Robber Fly is feeding on a Honey Bee, and bees and wasps are common prey for the large Robber Flies.  Your Robber Fly resembles this
Cerdistus species pictured on the Brisbane Insect website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination