Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Down Under"
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Identification of ?Robber Fly and Scorpion Fly
Dear Bugman,
Happened upon your site tonight and am most excited! Have bought several books and trying to identify local species in our Southern Tablelands area of NSW, Australia. Hubby and I spend a good deal of time at Bungonia State Recreation Area doing the lazy man tours of the gorgeous bush to see what interesting things we c an find…..we are never disappointed! What first started out as just native flowers and now turned into fauna and in particular, BUGS! I’ve attached two photographs taken this month and am hoping you can identify them. They’re beauties! Cheers!
Katherine & Ricky Lee

Hi Katherine and Ricky Lee,
What a positively gorgeous Blue Eyes Lacewing, Nymphes myrmeleonides, which we identified on the Geocities website. According to Wikidpedia, it is one of the largest Lacewings in the world. It belongs to the family Nymphidae and the order Neuroptera which contains other insects like owlflies and mantispids.

Dear Daniel,
What a beautiful photo Katherine and Ricky Lee have taken of the Blue Eyes Lacewing! Congratulations to you both. These insects are around our place a lot lately. You can recognise them before they land by their distinctive manner of flying – as though their wings are a bit disjointed. They like to sit underneath leaves and look up and out at the world. I recall that my first email to you was about the eggs of the Nymphes myrmeleonides, which you posted on the Eggs page, so perhaps Katherine and Ricky would like to do a bit of cross checking and watch out for the eggs. Regards

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help with ID
Hello Mr. Bugman:
I’m an Extension Agent on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and my friend, who is traveling in Australia, sent this ‘bug’ picture. It was taken at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney and I’ve tried to identify the “bugs.” My guess is that they are tortoise shell beetles of the family Chrysomelidae . However, my collegue who studies ticks and is known as the “tickman” disagrees and says they are bugs – and not beetles. Could you please help me with identifying these creatures? Thank-You,

Hi Diane,
These are immature Cotton Harlequin Bugs, Tectocoris diophthalmus. According to the Geocities website, they are in the family Scutelleridae: “Species in this family are know as Jewel Bugs or Shield Backed Bugs . Bugs in this family are usually colourful with metallic colour of spots. Shield-backed bugs are plant suckers. They can be distinguished from other bugs by their scutellum completely covered the whole abdomen and wings. This is why sometimes they are miss-recognized as beetle. They are easily distinguished from beetles by having sucking mouthparts and the shield on the back is continuous, not the divided wings cover with separation at the middle. This family are closely related to stink bugs (Family Pentatomidae ). They also produce offensive odors when disturbed. We found three species in this family. ” Elsewhere on the site, it is noted that: “The bugs are also known as Hibiscus Harlequin Bugs . Females are orange with small patches of metallic blue scatter over their body. Males are metallic blue with red patches. Their patterns can be quite different between individuals. Males are smaller than the females in size. Their scutellum completely covers the whole abdomen and wings. “

Thank-You!!!! You’re a great resource for help in identification. I forwarded your reply to my friend who’s traveling in Australia. She really appreciated it and is bedazzling her friends with her local “bug” knowledge. Thanks again,

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caterpillar freakazoid
we found a caterpillar yesterday in our driveway that is just under 8 inches long about 18cm! we dont know what kind it is. its freaky looking and is furry and spiky. can u help us out. we live in an urban area in north west NSW of australia. we dont think its a native.
Angela Ritter NSW Australia

Hi Angela,
The White Stemmed Gum Moth Caterpillar, Chelepteryx collesi, is a native species that we located on the Australian Caterpillars website. It is in the family ANTHELIDAE that is confined to Australia and New Zealand. The website explains that: “This Caterpillar is a great hazard to people climbing Gum trees. Scattered over its skin are tufts of long stiff reddish hairs, which are strong enough to penetrate human skin. When they do, they are very painful, and difficult to remove because they are barbed and brittle.” It is also noted that: “It is also one of the largest Caterpillars in Australia, growing in length to about 12 cms. Some trees where they may be found most years in Leichhardt are known by local school-children as ‘sausage trees’ because the Caterpillars look from the ground like sausages growing in the trees.”

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Can you tell me what type of caterpillar this is?
My little boy found this great caterpillar. Do you know what type he is and what he likes to eat. Thankyou

Hi Cathou,
We actually tried to identify your mystery caterpillar, but did not get very far since we have no idea where it was found. We believe it is a species of Skipper in the family Hesperidae.

Thankyou for trying. I am in QLD and think we have identified it as a Nymphalide / melanitis leda. I appreciate your reply Cheers

Thanks for the update Cathou. We will link to a site with information on the Common Evening Brown, Melanitis leda.

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Arctiidae Nyctemera secundiana
Hi guys,
Hope you like this pic of Arctiidae Nyctemera secundiana. T his is called the Magpie Moth here in Queensland. There are other moths given the same common name in this family as well. Taken on the Gold Coast 20th January 2008. Some great pics being posted on your site lately, cudos to digital cameras getting better and better. regards,
Trevor Jinks

Hi Trevor,
Thanks for sending us your image of a Magpie Moth. Wikipedia also names several other species with the same common name. The ubiquity of the digital camera has been a boon to our submissions.

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this one scared my little son, what is it?
Hello from Australia!
This one scared my 1 y.o. son this morning as he was playing next to the door, he saw it running around (not too fast). The thing is I have never seen something like it. The body itself was about 1 inch long at least, actually, the board itself is 95mm wide, so it looks more like 30mm for the body. The spray didn’t bother him, only the light of the flash when I took a picture. I didn’t think to take a picture of its belly once I picked it up. Its shell felt rather robust while holding it, lots of feet underneath… and notice the sort of tails with those spike bits pointing upwards. One thing that might help: I threw it over the balcony into the water (sea water) and to my surprise, it sank immediately. Because I don’t know if my son touched it by mistake I’m willing to know if it is any harmful… We are located in Port Stephens, NSW Australia. Please let us know your findings… thank you for your help!

Hi Greg,
This is a Marine Isopod, sometimes called a Sea Slater, or Beach Cockroach or Rock Louse. We just received a photo from Florida as well. We suspect your specimen is in the genus Ligia, perhaps Ligia oceanica. They are harmless scavengers and can get very numerous on rocky beaches. We are surprised that you have never noticed them since your house is on the beach. It is curious how this Sea Slater found its way into your home since they rarely stray away from the crashing waves. Perhaps a luckless seagull dropped it on your balcony.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination