Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Down Under"
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Subject: What is it?
Location: Southwest Western Australia (Leschenault Inlet)
December 24, 2014 8:12 pm
Hi! I’m trying to determine what type of insect this is. At first glance it looks like a giant mosquito, but then I started researching and thought it could be a crane fly, or maybe a lacewing? No idea, but it’s driving me crazy not knowing!
Signature: Cath

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Hi Cath,
Mistaking this Ichneumon for a Crane Fly is understandable.  Ichneumons are parasitic wasp that comprise one of the largest families of creatures on our planet.  Ichneumons are considered to be harmless to humans, though some species are capable of stinging.

 

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Subject: What is it?
Location: Sydney
December 23, 2014 5:09 am
Hoping you can identify.
Found on a cruise ship that had travelled from Brisbane in Queensland, prior to this in South Pacific Islands. Nov 28th this yr.
Thanks for your efforts!
Signature: Zeb

Checkered Beetle

Checkered Beetle

Dear Zeb,
This is a Checkered Beetle in the family Cleridae, but we are not certain of the species.  There are several similar looking individuals on the Insects of Brisbane website as well as on the Cleridae of Australia site where an image of
Trogodendron fasciculatum looks like a very close match.

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Subject: whats that bug
Location: brisdane moggil
December 18, 2014 3:28 pm
have not been able to identify these insects I took these photos myself please help.
Signature: cheers dylan

Leaf Beetle Larva

Leaf Beetle Larva

Dear Dylan,
We received your submission with three unrelated insects attached to a single, very brief identification request.  Before we could even begin, we needed to research the location of “brisdane moggil” which we quickly learned was a spelling error of Brisbane Moggil, an area in Queensland Australia.  We try to the best of our ability to classify postings correctly on our site and information on the sighting is often very helpful.  With that stated, one of your images is of a Leaf Beetle Larva.  If you want any additional identifications, please submit a single individual, but you may attach as many as three images of that individual as sometimes multiple views assist in our identification process.  Please include any relevant anecdotal information regarding the sighting.

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Subject: Tachinid Fly of Australia
Location: South-East Tasmania
December 14, 2014 8:21 pm
Photo taken 11 Dec 2014, SE Tasmania. Copyright David Irwin, 2014.
Nikon D7100; 150.0-600.0 mm f/5.0-6.3; F.L. 600mm.
My husband photographed this blowfly sitting above the headlight of our car. It was approximately the size of a human thumb. [Ed Note:  This should be thumb nail.] This photo shows great detail in the face of the fly. I have several images, as the fly stayed put, no matter how close we came. Though we couldn’t get too close, because on that occasion, David had the large 600mm zoom mounted and needed to get a few metres away for it to focus. It also had a very deep hum when it eventually flew off (when I went to compare size to my thumb[nail]). However, the one posted here is the clearest. Hand holding a heavy zoom lense is difficult.
This bug website (Whats This Bug) has 2 distinctly different Tachinid Flies (with a striking white band) on file, one is the ‘Bristle Fly’, or Amphibolia Vidua (my photo submitted), and one is the Formosia Specia, which is detailed in this scientific record:
http://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/1f1319a4-d231-4b1c-acf2-86627aff3fb9;jsessionid=9203058C513D7BAD7223F7123AD42FA6
Both flies look similar, but there are distinct differences – I have also detailed the two flies in my FB post here:
https://www.facebook.com/tasmanianartist/photos/a.10154934951460015.1073741869.204763860014/10154928182185015/?type=3&theater
with more photos from flickr, and ‘Atlas of Living Australia’.
What I’ve been able to find out is that Amphibolia vidua has 2 black dots on the white band [and even if they join, they still are identifyable as 2], and Formosia Specia has one black dot on the white band, with 2 white extensions towards the fly’s tail. Their eyes are set differently, too. Both occur in Tasmania, and Australian mainland.
cheers from down under
Signature: Marlies

Bristle Fly

Bristle Fly

Dear Marlies,
Thanks for your rigorous pursuit of the identity of your Bristle Fly,
Amphibolia vidua, and also for explaining the differences between this species and Formosia (Euamphibolia) speciosa, another Bristle Fly or Tachinid Fly in the same family.

Hello Daniel
What a journey that was! A fly took charge of almost an entire week! But it was fun :-)
I must say, I was a little distracted by my heart monitor, and other associated ‘things’, and haven’t exactly paid attention too much whether I made any sense at all – I do apologize if I confused everyone.
My husband photographed Amphibolia Vidua. This is the image I submitted. I then found another image attached to the Australian site ‘Atlas of Living Australia’, of which I posted the link (http://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/1f1319a4-d231-4b1c-acf2-86627aff3fb9;jsessionid=9203058C513D7…); THAT image on that site was of the Formosia Speciosa image that I mentioned. (Yes, both are Tachinid Flies, or Bristle Flies – that took a while to sink in with me, as I had no idea that there was any difference between a fly and a fly, before all of this – tho I know there are flies here that look like honey bees, and they wait for honey bees to come along, then ambush and kill them, I’ve observed them do it).
Here is the link to the image details – I think you may be able to link to the photo (which brings the photo up on your site). http://images.ala.org.au/image/details?imageId=b963f524-b62f-494e-bfde-db2b9b04115c
You also have a photo of a Formosia Speciosa (post titled ‘Australian Tachinid Fly appears to be Formosia speciosa’, and it is the one where I posted all of my ‘findings’, and where you replied to my expansive ramblings).
So, you do have both flies; they’re difficult to distinguish, but somehow, by counting the dots, I managed to join them (pardon the pun). And others clearly identify the Amphibolia Vidua – I’ve posted the relevant flickr posts on my facebook thread about the fly …
https://www.facebook.com/tasmanianartist/photos/a.10154934951460015.1073741869.204763860014/10154928
It’s been a real pleasure fiddling with a peculiar blow fly for once, and to leaf through your website – what a treasure trove; great stuff – love it. If I ever come across a bug again that I can’t identify, your website will certainly be my #1 stop.
I hope that you’ll correct my typo, which says the fly is about the size of a ‘human thumb’ … it certainly is not, it is the size of a HUMAN THUMB NAIL – and I did it twice in the same text.
Best wishes to you
cheerio from downunder
Marlies

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December 15, 2014
Book Review:  A Huntsman Spider in My House by Michelle Ray and illustrated by Sylvie Ashford
We quickly jumped on the opportunity to review Michelle Ray’s new children’s book and we are pleased to endorse the message it conveys.  The home does contain many unwelcome pests, but there are also many beneficial species that either accidentally or purposely find themselves inside.  Huntsman Spiders are common in Australia, and they are generally considered benign creatures that do no harm to human inhabitants, yet they are frequently subject to unnecessary carnage because they are large and scary appearing to the uninformed public.  The young, nameless female protagonist of Sylvie Ashford’s charming book speaks in rhyme as she explains the habits of Huntsman Spiders to children as well as to the adults that read the book aloud.  Our personal favorite of all of Sylvie Ashford’s colorful illustrations is the one that accompanies the text “I could squash him with my shoe, but he’s not hurting me.”  We thoroughly endorse educating young children to have more tolerance for the lower beasts in hope of reducing Unnecessary Carnage.  This book is suitable for young children learning to read and it has particular relevance for Australian children.  This book is a nice stocking stuffer.

Unnecessary Carnage averted:  "I could squash him with my shoe, but he's not hurting me."  Illustration by Sylvie Ashford

Unnecessary Carnage averted: “I could squash him with my shoe, but he’s not hurting me.” Illustration by Sylvie Ashford

Subject: Huntsman Spider Children’s Book Review Request
Website: www.littleaussiecritters.com
November 29, 2014 12:43 am
Hi Daniel
I hope you are well.
My name is Michelle Ray and I am a childrens author from Sydney, Australia.
I would like to ask if you would consider writing an honest review on your blog of my new children’s picture book titled ‘A Huntsman Spider In My House’ for 0-5 years, it is educational, charmingly illustrated and fun.
I would love to send you a copy.
I love your blog, book and ethos and support your efforts to promote the life of bugs and spiders of course!
If you are willing, I will pop one in the post to you – please let me know where to send it and if you have any other thoughts.
I hope to hear from you,
best wishes,
Michelle Ray
www.littleaussiecritters.com
Signature: Michelle Ray

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Subject: Xmas Jewel

Location: Queensland, Australia.
December 14, 2014 3:36 pm
Merry Xmas guys. My first encounter at my place today with this Variable Jewel Beetle – Temognatha variabilis.
Displaying the true Aussie spirit with its green and gold colours these guys only appear around Xmas and can vary from yellow to deep red. Thanks for another great year of bugs, hope the next one is even better.
Signature: aussitrev

Variable Jewel Beetle

Variable Jewel Beetle

Happy Holidays Trevor,
We have received several beautiful related individuals in the genus
Temognatha in the past, but this is the first Variable Jewel Beetle of which we are aware in our archives.  There might be a long lost unidentified image somewhere in our extensive archive which will top 20,000 unique posts in early 2015.  As always, your lovely images and interesting information are greatly appreciated.

Variable Jewel Beetle

Variable Jewel Beetle

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