Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Down Under"
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What is this?
My wife came to within 1 inch of getting this spider in the face when heading to our bin last night. I had to snap a pic to try to identify this spidy. We are in Australia on the Central Coast of NSW near Wyong, Gosford is about 30 minutes drive south of us. Any help identifying this spider would be appreciated so we know what we have. Cheers

Hi Jason,
This is one of the Orb Weaving Spiders known as Garden Spiders. We believe it is in the genus Eriophora. There appears to be a degree of variability in the markings. We found an Australian Spider site with many similar looking spiders, but no exact matches.

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weird spider in NZ
Hello from New Zealand,
You may not be able to help, but if you can that would be wonderful. My husband and I discovered this spider in our garden today and captured it to take a photo. I just couldn’t get a very good photo. The white spots are actually points – like tiny volcanos, and are black on the back, outlined in red. Eyes, perhaps? The back half of the body is bright yellow. It has 8 legs, but appears to have 2 extra tiny legs when it walks that are on a very tiny body at the base as in Spider 2. The legs seem to mainly go to the front of the body as in Spider 1. Have you any clue about what it is? Thanks a lot for your thoughts.
Nancy and Hugh Mills

Hi Nancy and Hugh,
Back in December of 2005, we got our first image of this species, and with the assistance of a reader in January of 2007 when we received another image, it was properly identified as a Two Spined Spider, Poecilopachys australasiae. We also have a link with additional information that indicates the species is native to Australia but was introduced to New Zealand in the 1970s. This spider is often found on citrus trees.

Broken Links Fixed
Broken links on your site
December 28, 2010 4:53 pm
You have a couple of links to Te Papa’s website on your website, thanks heaps for that! I have recently noticed in our logs that some of these are broken, so I thought I’d report them to you to enable you to fix them.
These broken links came from a data migration when we upgraded our website. We are really sorry about it.
These are the 3 pages with broken links:
The new address of the two-spine spider on our website is the following:
Thanks a lot for linking to us again!
Kind regards,
Florence Liger, webmaster at Te Papa
Signature: Florence Liger

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Question and photo…
In our garage we have lots of these small, grey, oval-shaped things hanging from the ceiling. There appears to be something like a small worm protruding from the top. Sometimes, I see these little guys climbing up walls – then you can see the worm/caterpillar-like bug doing its thing. Any idea what they are? Also, please find attached a photo I took of a wasp dragging a very large Huntsman spider across our back yard here in Sydney, up over the fence, and then away in our neighbour’s yard. Best regards,
Ian Nicholson

Hi Ian,
Your mysterious things sound like Case Bearing Moth Larvae. We get letters concerning them from many parts of the globe. Your Spider Wasp and Huntsman Spider photo is positively gorgeous.

Further Query: (01/03/2008)
Hi Daniel,
In the wasp and huntsman photo I sent you, can you please tell me the type of wasp? I had the photo published in a local paper and someone wrote in to say that this wasp is not a chalcidoidea, but of the symphyta suborder. Can you please clarify? Also, I watched this wasp drag that spider 15 metres across my lawn and then haul it up over the fence and into the neighbour’s garden. I presume this is to take the spider to a prepared burrow in order to lay an egg with it. The writer in the newspaper says our wasps in Australia do no such thing, but there’s the photo. Again, can you expand upon the behaviour of the wasp in the photo? Best regards,

Hi Ian,
Between 17 December 2006 and 22 January 2007, we received four letters from Australia of Spider Wasps with Huntsman Spider prey. They can be found in several places on our website, but they are grouped together on the Wasp 3 page. None of those photos are anywhere near as gorgeous as the one you sent. At that time, we correctly identified the Wasp as Cryptocheilus bicolor, a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae. The Australia Museum Online site has a photo and information including: “Spider wasps are often seen digging in soft sandy soil, dragging huntsman spiders along. The wasps you are most likely to see and hear are female wasps preparing nest chambers for their larvae. They dig a burrow using long spines on their front legs, then search rapidly around tree trunks and on the ground for a spider. The wasp stings the spider to paralyse it, and drags it back to the burrow. She then lays an egg on the spider’s body, and seals it in a chamber or cell at the end of the burrow. The larva hatches and feeds on the body of the spider before pupating in a thin silky cocoon in the cell.” If the Australia Museum site isn’t enough evidence for you to dispell the misinformation supplied by the person who wrote to the newspaper, you can also turn to the Brisbane Insect website.

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Weird things in my yard
I posted these to my facebook account months ago and none of my friends have any idea what these things are. They disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared.
Gaspare Maggio

Hi Gaspare,
You didn’t tell us where your yard is, which might help in an accurate identification. You may be in Italy, or you may be in Australia, or you may be in Canada. We just don’t know. This is a Fulgorid Planthopper. Your photo lacks critical detail for an exact species identification, but it does seem to resemble a photo posted to BugGuide of an immature Acanalonia bivittata, the Two Striped Planthopper.

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Black bodied, blue winged wasp like bug
Hey bug people,
I’ve found lots of bugs on your site but this one has got me so far. Lots of these fly around our tomatoes here in Australia. I’ve had tomatoes before but never saw these before. They seemed too big to be a black flower wasp (that and they leave our regular flowers alone). They have bright blue wings and eyes with black bodies. They constantly move so this was a clear a shot as I could get. Thanks

Hi Peter,
We suspect these are Blue Flower Wasps or Hairy Flower Wasps, Discolia soror, based on images posted to the Geocities Website. They are in the family SCOLIIDAE Scoliidae. Adult Blue Flower Wasps are nectar feeders and the larvae feed on Scarab Beetle Grubs. The female wasp locates the beetle grubs in the soil, digs down and lays an egg on the grub. The Csiro Website (which refers to this species as the Black Flower Wasp) indicates: “Black flower wasps are solitary and do not make communal nests. However, in mid to late summer, they often form small swarms flying low over an area of turf, a compost heap or around a shrub. The adults can also be seen taking nectar from flowers.”

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Joseph’s Beetle
Hi Bugman,
My 8 year old son found this beetle in our backyard, and we would love to know what type of bug it is? Hope you can help us on our quest. Regards,
The Hardy Family

Dear Hardy Family,
This beauty is a Metallic Wood Boring Beetle in the family Buprestidae. In Australia, they are known as Jewel Beetles. We beleive your query might have originated in Australia. Perhaps it was the posting date in the wee hours of the night, or perhaps it was the “au” in your email address. Please write back and provide us with additional information.

Hi Bugman,
we are in Australia, in western queensland. Thanks,
The Hardy Family

Hello again Hardy Family,
Now that we are certain of your whereabouts, we will try a bit harder to properly identify this species. We could not locate it on Allan Sundholm’s Buprestidae Home Page though Castiarina rolle is somewhat similar. The closest we can find is Castiarina gibbicollis.

Hullo Daniel,
The WA site has hundreds of pictures of Jewel Beetles! Quite an amazing array. What do you reckon about this one? Themognatha pictipes
Kind regards,

Hi Grev,
It looks as though Themognatha pictipes might be correct, but the original photo sent to us is quite blurry. Castiarina gibbicollis looks quite different on this site. Thanks for the awesome links. We were going to pull this submission from the homepage and archive, but decided to give it a bit more time thanks to your response.

Update: (03/30/2008) ID’s
Hi Daniel,
Corrected ID’s follow. Readers, and in particular the contributors of the pics below, are welcome and invited to contact me re ID’s for any Australian Buprestidae, which I have been studying and surveying their distributions etc since 1978. I am always interested in new distributional data especially from remote areas. This beetle is Temognatha vitticollis:

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination