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

Subject: Moth ID
Location: Melbourne, Australia
February 9, 2016 4:09 am
Dear Bugman
Took a few pics of an unusually marked/colored moth at a local native parkland recently.
It might be a variety of Tiger Moth after looking at some pics on this site?
Would be pleased if you could verify.
Thanks
Signature: Alan Gardner

Mistletoe Moth

Mistletoe Moth

Dear Alan,
This one really gave us a challenge.  Though it really does resemble a Tiger Moth, it is actually an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae and the subfamily Agaristinae.  We found two very similar looking moths on Butterfly House, and we eliminated the Grapevine Moth,
Phalaenoides glycinae, and we believe this is a Mistletoe Moth, Comocrus behri , which is described on Butterfly House as:  “The adult moths have wings that are black with white straight and zigzag lines. The abdomen is black on top and has orange stripes underneath, and a scarlet tuft on the tail.  The adult is a day-flying moth, with a wingspan of up to 5 cm.”  According to Csiro:  “This species is widely distributed across southern mainland Australia and can often be seen during the day flying around mistletoe plants growing on Casuarina and Eucalyptus species. The adults have a wingspan or about 58 millimetres and are predominantly black with white bands or lines through the wings. Males display what is known as ‘hill topping’ behaviour, where they fly to the highest spot on the landscape so that females know to congregate there for mating.”  There are some very nice images on FlickR.

Mistletoe Moth

Mistletoe Moth

Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for your prompt response.
I hadn’t seen any kind of moth quite like this one and it had me intrigued.
Kind regards
Alan

Mistletoe Moth

Mistletoe Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider Egg Sac
Location: Adelaide, Australia
February 4, 2016 8:45 pm
Dear Bugman,
We found a spider’s egg sac hanging on our painting easel. It was round and white and grey, and it was hanging on a thread. We looked it up and decided it looked like the egg sac of a two-tailed spider, but we aren’t sure if these spiders live where we are.
Yesterday we noticed it had started to open. We looked inside with our microscope and saw baby spiders! Do you know what type they are? What sort of home or food do they need?
We really like spiders, especially peacock spiders!
Signature: From the Kangaroo’s Room (3 to 6 year olds)

Spider Egg Sac

Spider Egg Sac

Dear Kangaroo’ Room kids,
We will attempt to identify your Spider Egg Sac, but our gut feeling is that this is an Orbweaver Egg Sac.  What we find most surprising is the few individual spiderlings inside.  They also seem quite large to be hatchlings.  Normally we expect to see hundreds of spiderlings emerge from an Egg Sac.  Perhaps a survival strategy for this species is to have the hatchlings cannibalize one another while still in the egg sac, ensuring that the strongest survive, and freeing them from having to hunt for food while very young.  Spiders are predators.  Try feeding them small insects like Aphids.

Spider Egg Sac

Spider Egg Sac

Spiderlings in Egg Sac

Spiderlings in Egg Sac

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp type
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
January 29, 2016 8:40 pm
Hi. Found a new wasp sp. in my backyard. Looks somewhat like a Popper Wasp, back lacks yellow legs etc. Any thoughts?
Signature: Tim D

Bottlebrush Sawfly

Bottlebrush Sawfly

Dear Tim,
This is a Bottlebrush Sawfly,
Pterygophorus cinctus, and we previously misidentified as possibly a Potter Wasp ourselves once.  Your image is quite beautiful.

Thanks Daniel!
I’ve been having a bit of a influx of fly/wasp type sp. into my inner suburban Melbourne (Aust) backyard this summer, including Banded Beefly, Wasp-mimic Hoverfly, as well as other more common hoverfly and butterflies such as Common Darts. Very unusual but very fascinating!
Cheers,
Tim

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Australian Inquiry
Location: Dorrigo, New South Wales, Australia
January 28, 2016 7:43 pm
Hello Bugman!
Im writing to you from Australia, the East Coast NSW. I have found this nest on my fathers property and its got us all puzzled. (Obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing to you for help!)
Its a group of small nests/cocoons (?) suspended in an olive tree. you can see by the photo that there are seven sub-dwellings dangling down, each approximately 5-7cm (2-3″) and what you can’t quite see from the picture is that there is a egg/sphere-shaped object tucked up in the mass of leaves that are all swathed in that goldy-orange web. there has been no movement noticed to or from the nests, but over the 4 weeks we have noticed that a pinprick hole appeared overnight in only one of the seven nests top…(perhaps a visiting parasite, it didn’t look like an obvious entry/exit hole for the resident in question.) Other details are the 7 nests are hollow/hard paper sounding constructions. the web has carcasses of beetles and flies stranded in it – seemingly in a certain area above which indicates they have been eaten by a resident… thats about all the information I have… I do hope you can help out, curiosity is peaked as we wait and watch!
Signature: Kind Regards, Naomi Drage

Egg Sacs of the Magnificent Spider

Egg Sacs of the Magnificent Spider

Dear Naomi,
We are really enjoying researching your request.  Our initial impression that these resembled the Egg Sacs of Orbweaver Spiders proved to be correct when we discovered the Australian Museum page on the Magnificent Spider,
Ordgarius magnificus.  According to the Australian Museum site:  “Very little is known about the courtship and mating of Magnificent Spiders, but once egg development starts, the female’s abdomen swells up quite remarkably. She constructs a series of spindle-shaped egg sacs over several nights, and each one is filled with about 600 eggs. The egg sacs are attached to a branch, and may number up to seven. They are often parasitised by wasps and flies.  The mother spider usually dies off over winter. The baby spiders emerge in late winter to early spring and disperse by ballooning.”  The site also notes:  “During the day, the Magnificent Spider hides in a retreat made by binding leaves together with silk. Preferred trees include natives such as eucalypts in dry or wet sclerophyll forests, but these spiders are also found in suburban gardens. Often the spider’s characteristic spindle-shaped egg sacs are hanging near the retreat.”  The retreat is evident in the upper right hand corner of your excellent image.  Butterfly House also has some wonderful images and notes:  “These spiders are quite amazing. They catch their prey by creating a line of silk with a sticky blob on the end, then swinging it round and round. They emit the pheromones of some female moths to attract the male moths within range of their bolas, catching the moths rather like the Incas hunted game and the gauchos of Argentina catch their cattle.”  The Find a Spider Guide has a marvelous image of the Magnificent Spider and notes:  “The two yellow cones and red marbling on the dorsal surface of the abdomen of this spider are distinctive. Also very useful for identification purposes are the egg sacs. These are very large (about 5 cm long) and spindle-shaped, and hang in groups of about five.”  Your especially fecund female has produced seven egg sacs.  Thanks so much for providing our site with this wonderful posting for our archives.  Perhaps you will be able to get an image of the Spider herself.  She is undoubtedly the “egg/sphere-shaped object tucked up in the mass of leaves that are all swathed in that goldy-orange web” you mentioned.  The information provided on Arachne.Org may help you get that image which may require a flash on your camera.  Here is that information:  “These spiders are active at night, with a simple web in trees or tall shrubs, rarely less than 2 metres above the ground. Their presence is usually indicated by a cluster of large, brown egg sacs hanging among foliage. The egg sacs are conspicuous, up to 5 cm long – many are targeted by flies and wasps that parasitise spiders’ eggs. Up to 9 sacs may be made by a spider in a season, each with several hundred eggs. The male spiders mature within the egg sac, emerging with fully functional mating organs. At night the female spins a trapeze line from twigs above an open space in the branch or foliage. She hangs from this trapeze and spins into the space a short, single line of silk with a large droplet of very sticky silk, the bolas, at its end. The upper end of the line is held by the female’s second leg. The spider emits an airborne pheromone attractive to male moths of the family Noctuidae. Vibration sensitive hairs on the spider’s outstretched legs can sense the wing beats of an approaching moth. The spider begins to swing the bolas around in a circle beneath the moth until it is hit by the sticky bolas. It flutters in tethered flight while the spider hauls it in. The moth is then bitten, wrapped and either eaten or hung. Several moths may be caught in a night.”

Egg Sacs of a Magnificent Spider

Egg Sacs of a Magnificent Spider

Thats so great, thank you. Its an impressive (or magnificent!) looking creature! I look forward to getting out there at night and seeing if we can sight it! Will send you an update photo if we manage to catch it in action :)
There has been a change to the centre egg since I emailed, its sac surroundings have coloured in patches of rusty orange. So perhaps hatching will begin shortly!
Keep up the great work, thanks again!
Naomi Drage

Update:  February 10, 2016
Hello!
So our magnificent spider has been rather productive this week, she seems to have lost two of the spindle egg sacs to parasites (pinhole at top and sunken appearance), so she gone on and made an 8th one! Her markings are stronger now than they were before, and I can imagine being bird, poking your head up the nest hole and getting a terrible fright from her faux ‘serpent head’ abdomen! a great deterrent, even enough for me to keep good distance! hope the photos are a welcome addition for your gallery.
Regards, Naomi

Magnificent Spider in her lair

Magnificent Spider in her lair

Thanks for the update Naomi,
Your Magnificent Spider really does look like a serpent.

Update:  April 9, 2016
Hi!
I thought I’d update you on our “super-mama” magnificent spider that we have been watching – she has now exceeded her previous best and gone and made two new egg sacs!! she has ten in total now (with the australian museum website stating that 7 is normal, I’m cheering for our girl!) although she is still alive and well, the weather is cooling down so we expect her to die off soon. Her young are free-blowing away to neighbouring trees – I have included a picture of one of the offspring. You can see its perched near some orange seed-like balls… are they part of the web lure?
Because of the physical distance form my own home, I still haven’t witnessed the night-time feeding performance, simply being satisfied with day-time sightings!
Cheers, Naomi

Magnificent Spider Egg Sacs

Magnificent Spider Egg Sacs

Thanks for the update Naomi,
We especially enjoyed the image of the Magnificent Spiderling ballooning to a new location.  We are unsure of the identity of the orange features of the web.

Magnificent Spiderling

Magnificent Spiderling

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ID bug
Location: Sydney, Australia
January 22, 2016 2:36 pm
Hello,
I have found many alive and dead bugs in a bedroom. Sometimes they’re curled up in an almost ball.
Please help to identify them.
With thankd
Signature: N/A

Woodlouse

Woodlouse

This terrestrial Isopod is commonly called a Woodlouse, and those that roll into balls are frequently called Pill Bugs or Rollie-Pollies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red eggs?
Location: Wahroonga, NSW, Australia
January 20, 2016 8:54 pm
Hey there,
I work in bush regeneration near the headwaters of the Lane Cove River in NSW. We’re in a fairly rainy sort of area.
One of my colleagues sent me this picture of what appear to be red insect eggs. I searched through your egg posts for several pages, but the closest thing to these seemed to be ladybeetle eggs, however those are only yellow.
Unfortunately I don’t know what plant these eggs have been laid on. It actually looks like a weed.
Cheers :)
Signature: Frances

Possibly Phasmid Eggs

Assassin Bug Eggs

Dear Frances,
Eggs can be very difficult to properly identify.  The color looks like an exact match and the general shape is very close to this egg cluster pictured on Getty Images that is identified as a clutch of Stick Insect or Phasmid eggs.  We have not been able to locate any other corroborating images.

Update:  Assassin Bug Eggs
Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash, we researched Assassin Bug Eggs and we found this image that exactly matches on FlickR.  No particular species is identified, but the eggs were found in Australia.  BunyipCo supports that ID.  Assassin Bugs are beneficial predators.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination