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

What’s this please?
Taken on Mount Tamborine, Australia.
It’s an odd tiny thing that walks backwards as if it’s spikes are on it’s head. Very jerky too. It’s like a mini dinosaur. Can you help? It’s got a few of us on the Ex-pats site flummoxed! Regards

Hi Colette,
We were certain this was an immature Plant Hopper, but were unsure of the species, so we scoured the Geocities website. We found several likely candidates in the family Eurybrachyidae whose nymphs look very similar to your image, but we cannot settle on an exact match. Several species are described as moving backwards. Some likely candidates include the Green Face Wattle Hopper (Olonia viridiventris), the Spider-face Wattle Hopper (Gelastopsis insignis), and the Eye-patterned Gum Hopper (Platybrachys vidua).

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi, Love your site. Most Aussies of my generation are familiar with Cicadas. We enjoy their singing all Summer, it reminds us of our childhoods!! I was really intrigued recently on a visit to a friends farm. We live in South East Queensland Australia about 72 miles west of Brisbane. We are in the middle of a severe & prolonged drought.However, recently there has been some welcome rain, about 4.5". This week at the farm there were huge swarms (millions) of the attached "Bug". They look like Cicadas, however, it seems unusal behaviour for them. They are very small, no more than 1" in length. I’ve only ever known Cicadas to shed & go into the trees for the duration, I have never seen them swarm en masse & never so small. We wondered if the weather has produced an unusal phenomenon or are they some other insect? I’ve tried to identify them without success. I’ve attached a pic for you.
Thanks & regards.Regards,

Hi Julie,
This is most certainly a Cicada. We did some research, and based on the protruding eyes and melanistic spots towards the apex of the forewings, we believe this to be a Bunyip Cicada in the genus Tamasa. We used Lindsay Popple’s awesome Cicada website for the identification, and he addresses the aggregation behavior thus: “Aggregation is a phenomenon observed mostly in the larger and medium sized cicada genera such as Thopha ,Psaltoda ,Macrotristria ,Tamasa and many others. Many of these species produce loud continuous choruses for long periods. The aggregating behaviour is most likely directly related to mate signalling opportunities. If a male cicada recognises the frequency components of another male singing he will fly in near to where the sound is coming from. He will then commence singing in order to signal to females that have already flown in, in response to the original males song. The process continues until the entire brood is restricted to a small group of trees. A possible, though indirect, by-product of this is that the sheer number of males singing in an area may confuse predators. ” We have written to Lindsay to see if he can substantiate our identification. Here is Lindsay’s quick reply and correction: “Hi there Daniel, You were close with the identification. It is a sister genus to Tamasa, a grass cicada called the ‘Grass Fairie’ or ‘Yellow Sugarcane Cicada’ Parnkalla muelleri. See: Cheers, Lindsay.”

Thank you. This is very interesting! We appreciate your efforts. I have attached a list of “flora” recently documented (by LandCare Australia spotters) on the property. This might be of interest in understanding the Cicadas habitat? The swarming (aggregation)seemed very random? but probably not! just the sheer numbers made it seem so. We had them in ears, noses etc. Our farmer friend was certainly “complaining” of incessant noise levels.I will have a look at the w/site mentioned. I was unaware that we had such a small species of Cicada? All of the ones mentioned on your w/site are familiar to us. Regards

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I discovered it was the Citrus Swallowtail, my address is southern Queensland in Australia and it hatched out yesterday, see the photos i’m pleased to attach, i was so sure i’d miss the moment. How do they fit into the case, it IS a miracle./

Hi again Dawn,
Thank you so much for the followup images of the metamorphosis of the spectacular caterpillar you sent our way on January 19. Your photos are all wonderful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi Bugman,
I found this moth in our garden last weekend. We live in Perth, Western Australia. It was fairly small (approx. 200mm long). I couldn’t get a phot of the wingspan. What is it?> By the way, great website! I love taking photos of insects, so you might get a few more queries from me.
Anna Lloyd

Hi Anna,
This is not a moth. It is a Grass Skipper, a butterfly in the subfamily Hesperiinae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green Lynx Spider
Hi! I just found your site. It’s really neat! I thought you might enjoy this picture I took of what I think is a Green Lynx Spider. I found it hanging out on one of my roses last summer (in northeast Florida).

Hi Grace,
The Green Lynx Spider is our favorite spider in the world. Thanks for sending your gorgeous photo.
Jumping Spider eats Cockroach
(02/10/2007) Spider eating cockroach
Hi Mr. Bugman,
‘Tis me again from Halls Head, Western Australia. This spider took almost 2 hours to demolish a fair sized cockroach, he then returned about an hour later to check for left overs. I have looked on your site and in my books, is it a Grey Crevice Jumping Spider please? Thank you, cheers,
P.S. I did send this back in Dec/January but I think you must be still mega busy….

Hi Karen,
This is a Jumping Spider in the Family Salticidae, but we do not know what species. Without going into the myriad reasons we are unable to answer each and every question that is sent to us, we will say that if your letter does not get answered within three days, chances are very good that it will not get answered since so many additional letters have arrived and we try to devote time to the newest arrivals when we are selecting what to answer on a given day. Additionally, a catchy subject line generally catches our eye, and a subject line that reads “no subject” generally gets ignored.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unidentified bug
Hi. Attached is a photo of a bug found in Melbourne, Australia. I have looked all over the web but can’t find anything. Have you any idea what it is? Thank you!
Corey Wright

Hi Corey,
Sorry for the delay. We are just returning to old emails that we never had a chance to answer. This is a Eucalyptus Longhorned Borer Beetle, Phoracantha semipunctata. This beetle has been introduced to Southern California where it is a major cause of eucalyptus damage. The larvae are the borers that feed on wood.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination