From the monthly archives: "February 2007"

bugs of course!
Hi again,
You may remember me from my Christmas time request at identifying my cute little pie dish beetle? But I know how busy you are so I won’t be offended if you’ve forgotten me and my beetle by now – much!. Anyway the reason I’m bugging you (pardon the pun) is that since Christmas I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled right across our wide brown land all the way from Perth to Tasmania and as a direct result of that journey have two pics and one question for you. First I want to say that thanks to your wonderful website I was able to positively identify an egg case that had been carefully attached to our spare car tyre, which had to be transported in our pop up camper due to lack of space elsewhere, as belonging to a preying mantis. Thus their lives were spared as my husband had thought it was some kind of spider egg and was about to crush it. It was not until our trip was underway that it was discovered and as my hubby has a bit of a soft spot for preying mantis he was careful with it from then on. After crossing the Eyre Peninsula in 47c heat, I had a good idea that might trigger an hatching, and so it did, as two evenings later we popped up our camper to find hundreds of tiny preying mantis running about all over our stuff. We carefully removed them from the camper and left the remaining ones to hatch outside. In the morning we carefully removed the egg case and left them to battle against the funnel web spiders which were, unfortunately for them, abundant in that area. Hopefully they already had that species of preying mantis in Victoria, if not- well… they have now. Anyway to make a long story short, I took a pic of the hatch-lings that I thought you might like. The question I have is about the other picture, which I assume are assassin beetles obviously mating. Please correct me if I’m wrong about my identification. These bugs were photographed in Tasmania and many more were found all over town mating merrily. My mother, who lives there, told me that once these bugs couple, they cannot dis-attach, and so the bigger one, presumably the female? drags the little one presumably the male? around until he dies, and then what I don’t know? (not unlike some human marriages I believe) Anyway, I found this information a little hard to swallow, and although I hate to question my mum, I’d really like to know if this is so? Can you verify that for me? Well that’s if from me for now… hope to hear from you when you get time. Kind regards,
Jill Hardman
Western Australia

Dear Jill,
Thank you for the wonderful letter. You hatching Mantid Ootheca and accompanying details are fascinating. Your alleged Assassin Bugs are Hemipterans, which includes the Assassin Bugs, predatory species in the family Reduviidae, but they are a different family, possibly Lygaeidae, the Seed Bugs. Most definitely, they are a phytophagous or plant eating species.

Rhinoceros beetles from Australia
Hi bugpeople,
this is Chris… you posted a photo of my daughter’s phasmid last year, with a link back to my site (thank you 🙂 I have just returned from south-east Queensland, Australia (to Sydney, where I live) and collected a plethora of fantastic bug pics. However, I thought I might just share a few because I know time is short when you’re maintaining a large site! Follow the link to my article about two species of rhinoceros beetle I found.

One is considered rare (Haploscapanes australicus?), the other quite common (Xylotrupes gideon). The common one is enormous and the first photo on the site shows it sitting on my hand (for scale).
Best regards,

Hi Chris,
Thanks for sending us your photos and providing an indentification. We have linked back you your site where people can find more information than we are posting. We have posted the two photos of the common Xylotrupes gideon above and the single photo of the rare Haploscapanes australicus below.

what’s the name of this moth?
I am constantly on your ‘what’s that bug’ website to identify the bugs I find in my yard. Thank you for making all the info available online. Attached is a picture of a moth I cannot find the name for, I am hoping you can help. The location I photographed this moth was East Orlando, Florida in the garden section of the Lowes store.

Hi Evelyn,
This is an Ello Sphinx, Erinnyis ello, and by the looks of the condition of the specimen, a very old moth.

leaf-footed bug, moth
Hi Bugman!
Here are 2 photos from a recent trip to Panama – a gorgeous leaf-footed bug (I think it’s Anisocelis flavolineata, according to your site) and a diurnal (?) moth I’d love your help identifying…. thanks, your fan, as always.

Hi Allison,
Thanks for sending you beautiful photos. The Leaf-Footed Bug is Anisocelis flavolineata, which is also called the Flag Footed Bug. The “diurnal moth” is really some species of Skipper.

Update: (02/13/2007)
Hey Guys, In reference to this unidentified butterfly below, I think I’ve got it. I asked Will Cook at Duke U., and below is his response. Red-faced Firetip (Pyrrhopyge zenodoros)
Eric Duran
Staff Naturalist
Nature Discovery Center

Late Summer Butterfly
Thanks so much for your excellent site. I use if often to identify butterfly caterpillars. Now I have a photo of a butterfly for which I am uncertain of the identification. This photo was taken in August 2006 at the Butterfly Garden of the Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge near Glen Allen, MS. I thought it was some sort of Fritillary and we have planted Passion Flower Vine in the garden to attract fritillaries. But I haven’t been able to find any pictures of fritillaries that look like this. Sorry that I only have the one picture with the wing backs.

Hi Alice,
This Gulf Fritillary is not a true Fritillary and might have been attracted to the passion flowers, the larval food.

What is it??
Hello there
Found this in Sydney Australia. Any idea of what it is? Thanks

fOUND IT!!!!!! thanks!
Fiddler Beetles
Eupoecila australasiae
These beetles emerged from cocoons found in a pot of daffodils in Randwick. Other locations around Sydney where Fiddler Beetles have been recently found include Ingleburn, St Mary’s, Kellyville and Faulconbridge. They are common in heath and woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Adult beetles emerge from soil in early summer and feed on the nectar of flowers. The beetles lay eggs in rotting logs or in the damp soil under logs. The grubs feed on rotting timber and build cocoons of soil and debris in which they pupate. These attractive beetles are harmless to humans.

Hi Stuart,
We are thrilled that you identified your Fiddler Beetle. This is the third specimen we have posted this week and your letter is the first to arrive in February. It is time to post a Bug of the Month for February 2007, and since we have so many fans in Australia, we have decided to that this month we will feature the Fiddler Beetle. This will be the first Bug of the Month not found in the U.S.