Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Down Under"
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Looks like spiders
Hi Bugman,
This thing has been on my side gate (in Melbourne, Australia) for at least a month and a half. The web around it suggest it is a spider’s egg. The lowest ball looks different to the rest, I think it has legs – but it never moves! I’d love to know what kind of insect made this. Thanks,
Louisa

Hi Louisa,
This is a mystery to us and we don’t have the time to research it right now. We are posting in the hopes some reader has the answer. We have also written to Grev, a frequesnt contributor from Australia.

Update: (12/06/2007)
Good morning Daniel, Let me say I am no expert on bugs. I am just very interested and curious about all the creatures in my own garden – usually if I can identify something it is because I have photographed it and done some research to find out what it is. The spider eggs seem to be from the Bird Dropping Spider (Celaenia sp) and the one with legs at the bottom is probably the spider waiting for nightfall to start moving about, See: http://museumvictoria.com.au /spiders/detail.aspx?id=1&pic =2
http://www.amonline.net.au /factsheets/bird_dropping _spider.htm Hope this helps. Best wishes,
Grev

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Re: Raspy cricket from Australia
Hi Bugman,
When I first saw the image submitted of the ‘raspy cricket’ from Australia, I thought it was a moss mimicking katydid. It’s fascinating how similar they are in appearance. I had submitted my photo to your site, and did receive an e-mail reply, but apparently my image was not sufficient for an ID. I did manage to eventually get it identified:
This a nymph of Championica montana Saussure & Pictet, 1898 (Pseudophyllinae, Pleminiini), a gorgeous moss mimicking katydid, common in Mesoamerica. I never managed to record its call, but its close relative, C. cristulata, has a very bird-like, frequency modulated call, very unusual for New World Tettigoniidae. Cheers,
Piotr
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D.
Director, Invertebrate Diversity Initiative
Conservation International

Dear Nancy or Piotr,
We are sorry we failed in the original identification of this Moss Mimicking Katydid. We recall these images, but it seems we never posted them to our site. When we are very busy, sometimes we don’t have time to post everything we want to post or should post. Please provide us with some background. When and where was the photo taken? Was it photographed in Nicaragua in 2005 as the name of the digital file implies? Also, was this letter submitted by Nancy and is Piotr the expert who identified it? Is there a good link with information on the species?

Hi Daniel,
Yes, the katydid was photographed at Selva Negra, Nicaragua in 2005. I have copied the entire e-mail chain for you as it gives everyone’s titles as well as a few sites. Hope this info is helpful to your site. p.s. I just bought a camera with Macro capability and am headed back to Selva Negra in January. I’m going to check out that huge boulder again :)
Nancy Collins, Wisconsis

Editor’s Note: Here is Nancy’s original email (that was sent to several knowledgeable experts as well as to What’s That Bug?) and responses she received.
(08/28/2007) Greetings,
Is there any advice you can give me on how to find the name of this insect? I encountered it in Nicaragua. It was about 6 inches long, and was very flat. The hind legs were flat against the rock. It was sharing a huge boulder with hundreds of spiders. Thank you for your time,
Nancy Collins, Wisconsin

Tom – what do you say about this critter?
Lyle Buss
Insect Identification Laboratory
Entomology & Nematology Dept.
University of Florida

Flat Nicaraguan Katydid
Piotr,
Can you identify this beast? The best I could do was to suspect it was a Pseudophylline.
Thomas J. Walker
Department of Entomology & Nematology
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Dear Tom,
This a nymph of Championica montana Saussure & Pictet, 1898 (Pseudophyllinae, Pleminiini), a gorgeous moss mimicking katydid, common in Mesoamerica. I never managed to record its call, but its close relative, C. cristulata, has a very bird-like, frequency modulated call, very unusual for New World Tettigoniidae. Cheers,
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D. Director, Invertebrate Diversity Initiative
Conservation International
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

Hi Nancy,
Thanks for providing us with this wonderful identification chain and also for resending your photos to us despite us failing to provide you with and identification. As your email chain indicates, even qualified experts had difficulty with the exact identification. Identification of many rain forest species is nearly impossible without the help of specialists.

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Phasmid Family
Hi Bugman,
Firstly – can I say what a wondeful site you have – truly inspiring. Secondly I wonder if you can help me in identifying the insect in the attached picture which I believe to be part of the phasmid family. It was located in the Daintree rainforest near Cairns Australia. The length of the insect was approximately 5 inches (12 -13 centimetres) and it was quietly laid up on the side of a tree facing upwards vertically. I had leaned in to photograph a cicada that I had spotted and almost placed my hand on top of this insect – I guesss you could say I had a small surprise when my wife pointed it out beside my hand……… Anyway – hope you can assist – keep up the wonderful website. Many thanks
Nick Summers

Hi Nick,
After doing a bit of web searching, we believe this is a Raspy Cricket in the family Gryllacrididae, but there is only one species, the Striped Raspy Cricket, Paragryllacris combusta, pictured on the GeoCities website. The markings on your specimen are a bit different. We found another site that follows the metamorphosis from nymph to adult of the Striped Raspy Cricket or Tree Cricket. Perhaps Grev can substantiate and provide an exact species.

Update: (12/03/2007)
Hi, Daniel:
The “raspy cricket” from Australia is actually some kind of katydid, family Tettigioniidae, but I’m not at all familiar with the fauna down under.
Eric

Update: (12/06/2007)
Good morning Daniel,
Let me say I am no expert on bugs. I am just very interested and curious about all the creatures in my own garden – usually if I can identify something it is because I have photographed it and done some research to find out what it is. So, your question about the Raspy Cricket set me searching. I compared it to photos in David Rentz’ s “Grasshopper Country” but remained puzzled. David Rentz says there are 200 species of Raspy Cricket in Australia and most have not been described. They are all nocturnal and spend their days in burrows or in shelters made of leaves and twigs – Nick’s insect was on a tree, so, perhaps not a Raspy. Then I saw Eric’s identification – a Katydid. So, over to the Katydid pages, where there appears one that could be Nick’s insect- a Phricta species, or Prickly Katydid, a rainforest species that lives in trees in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. See: http://www.anhs.com.au/prickly katydid.htm
Hope this helps. Best wishes,
Grev

Update: (07/03/2008) Katydid IDs from Piotr Naskrecki Hi,
I have been looking at the page with unidentified katydids (Katydids 2), and thought I could help with some ID’s. From top to bottom they are: Phricta sp.

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Bronze orange stink bug Australia
Dear Daniel,
Yesterday we (carefully gloved) were picking the stink bugs (Musgraveia sulciventris)* off the citrus, when I found this strange creature. After it had posed patiently for my camera for some minutes without moving, I realised it was not alive. Eventually the penny dropped – it was a stink bug moult! I’ve included the adult for your interest: a much loathed creature, but beautiful up close. *We don’t kill them, but, as they are natives, release them in the bush. Best wishes,
Grev

Hi Grev,
Thanks for sending us your photos of an Australian Stink Bug and its cast off skin.

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tiger moth
Hi there,
while it’s bogong season here in Sydney, Australia, the attached is something I grew up always calling a “tiger moth”. I don’t know much else about it, but they come out in summer. I seem to recall there being plagues of them in the 1980s, but these days you’re lucky if you see a handful each year. They’re about an inch long. Cheers,
Chris Rehberg

Hi Chris,
We quickly located your Tiger Moth, more specifically, Orange Spotted Tiger Moth, Ceryx guttulosa, on the wonderful GeoCities website. This species, like many other Tiger Moths, is a wasp mimic. Just as we thought we had this one solved, we noticed a second page on the GeoCities site called Orange Spotted Tiger Moth 2. This second species, Amata annulata, looks remarkably like the first. Now we are not certain which is correct, but thankfully, both have the same common name.

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Orange Drummer cicadas
Bugman:
No question this time, but thought you might be interested to see pics of a rare type of Thopa cicada – the Orange Drummer, or Thopa colorata. It inhabits a very small section of Central Australia.
http://www.flickr.com/photos /travelcat/2067077737/in/photostream/
We’ve dozens of these around the house just now, good thing neither of us have a bug phobia! We’ve had a dozen or so hatch just this morning! If you want to link to these pics, feel free!
Jodi

Hi Jodi,
Thank you so much for sending us your gorgeous Orange Drummer Cicada photos. We love getting so many wonderful submissions from Australia during your summer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination