Subject: Sawfly larva identification
Location: East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
January 14, 2017 11:05 pm
Hello. I am wondering if you can help with the identification of this interesting creature? I think it is a sawfly, family Pergidae, subfamily Perginae (I am happy to be corrected :)), but can’t get any further than that. It was spotted in mid-January, smack-bang in the middle of our Australian summer. It was approximately 2 inches long and moving alone along a fence rail. Nearby trees included two different species of eucalypt and and a she-oak.
Any insights you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks bug guys! 🙂
Signature: Jacinta Richardson


Dear Jacinta,
This is indeed a Sawfly Larva, and in Australia they are known as Spitfires because of the posture they assume when they are disturbed.  We have a group of similar looking Spitfires in our archives.  Based on information on the Australian Museum site, we believe your identification is correct, but we are unable to provide a conclusive species name at this time.



What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beetle
Location: Moyobamba area Peru
January 15, 2017 4:07 am
Please could you help ID this beetle we saw at Waqanki Lodge, Moyobamba, Peru – September 2016? Thank you
Signature: Lynne Demaine

Possibly Soldier Beetle

Dear Lynne,
We wish we could make out the detail on the antennae better as that is a big help in classification.  We are pretty certain this is NOT a Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae, we also believe we can eliminate that it is a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae.  We are pursuing research that this is a member of the superfamily Elateroidea, possibly the Soldier Beetle family Cantharidae.  While there are some similar looking Soldier Beetles pictured on Scielo, we were not able to locate a conclusive match.  Perhaps our readership can assist with this identification.

Subject: Weird insect infestation on one of my trees!
Location: Sandton, johannesburg
January 12, 2017 10:07 am
Hi there, one of my small trees in my garden is suddenly covered in millions of black insects varying in size from quite large ( about the size of a cricket) to really small. They appear to have hatched from a muddy nest in the bottom of my bird bath which sits under the tree.
They are really quite scary looking and there are literally hundreds of them just sitting on the branches all of the tree- just need to know if they are in any way dangerous ( to my children or the tree😭)
Signature: Jen

Immature Tip Wilter

Dear Jen,
It seems you have multiple different instars or stages of Tip Wilters, True Bugs in the family Coreidae, most likely 
Carlisis wahlbergi based on research we have done in the past.  As their name implies, Tip Wilters cause worts to wilt after the insects use their piercing mouthparts to suck the fluids from the plants upon which they are feeding.  While it is possible that a large Tip Wilter might bite a child if it is carelessly handled, they are not considered dangerous.  The damage they do to the plants is another story, and large quantities of Tip Wilters, which you seem to have, may stunt the growth of your plants.

Immature Tip Wilters

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider in the Flower Garden
Location: Menifee, California
January 12, 2017 10:15 am
We recently moved from Santa Ana, Ca. to Menifee, Ca. nearer my wife’s parents to care for them and one day my wife spotted this amazing spider in her Aunt’s flower garden. She said that the size of the one flower is about the size of a half-dollar. Haven’t seen the spider since then but will keep and eye open for them.
Signature: David Nadzam

Green Lynx Spider

Dear David,
This is a nice female Green Lynx Spider, one of our favorite species on What’s That Bug? and this is quite late in the year to see one.  Judging by her size, she is eating well, and she may be ready to lay some egg sacs that she will guard.  Green Lynx Spiders do not build webs to snare prey, but rather, they pounce on their prey, often from a great distance.  Green Lynx Spiders are frequently found on blossoms in the garden.

Thanks Daniel,
I will definitely go looking through Patti’s Aunts flower bed come the spring for more of them.  Maybe I can get some on my side of the street here to hunt through my bonsai trees.
Regards, Dave

Subject: Weird bug
Location: San Antonio, Texas
January 12, 2017 2:55 pm
I found this slender yellow bug on my way to get the mail today. It has large blue eyes, long antennae, semi-long legs, and a long backside. Can you help me figure out what kind of bug this is? I’ve searched 10 websites and have not been able to figure it out!
Signature: Courtney Richardson

Short Tailed Ichneumon

Dear Courtney,
This is a parasitic Ichneumon in the genus
Ophion, the Short Tailed Ichneumons.  You can compare your individual to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Most all Ophion larva are parasites of caterpillars” and “Adult Ophion species will hunt for their host caterpillar. Usually one egg is laid per host. Caterpillar usually dies during pupal stage though wasp larva remains to pupate itself.”  It should also be noted that Short Tailed Ichneumons are frequently attracted to lights, and though Ichneumons are considered harmless to humans, the Short Tailed Ichneumons are capable of stinging.

Subject: Name that bug!
Location: Vancouver WA
January 12, 2017 9:23 pm
This moth (?) evidently came in on the firewood. What kind of bug is this ? I could not find an image on the internet but I don’t know what search words to use.
Signature: Kurious Jo

Introduced Pine Sawfly

Dear Kurious Jo,
Based on this BugGuide image, we feel quite confident this is a male Introduced Pine Sawfly,
Diprion similis.  According to BugGuide:  “adventive from Europe; ne. US (ME-MN to NC-TN) + WA; in Canada, NF-MB & BC.”  We first reported the larvae in Washington in 2008.