From the monthly archives: "November 2007"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

type of wasp
Hello, This is Scott again from Austin TX. I took this photo of some sort of wasp. I was wondering just what type of wasp it is? I did not know wasps were attracted to flowering plants. I have also caught yellowjackets (paper wasps) on my pride of barbados plant.Thank you for you help.

Hi Scott,
This is one of the Thread Waist Wasps, the Black and Yellow Mud Dauber, Sceliphron caementarium. It has a coast to coast range in the U.S. You can find more information on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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,

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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Argiope and suiter, strange behavior, and Proud momma mantid
Thought you might like some pics from Guam. 12 is one of my many Orb-weavers (not sure of the species) and the first time I’ve seen one with a room-mate so far. 15 is the same female hanging upside down from the web in the rain. I’ve seen her do this a couple of times when it’s raining. I’m guessing it’s to prevent drowning? I thought it was dead the first time I saw it, but she was back in her web after the rain stopped. Again tonight, she was hang-drying herself. I particularly like this picture, the raindrops clinging to her body are pretty sexy don’t you think? 14 is a manti(s/d, which is plural?) taking a breather after laying eggs. We never have to worry about the temp dropping so far as to cause the eggs to go dormant. What is the incubation period if the temp stays at hatching temperature?

Hi Charles,
Time will only allow us to post one of your images, and we are very fond of the mating Argiope appensa, commonly called the Banana Spider on Guam. The female spider has much greater mass than her dimutive mate. Spiders in the genus Argiope nearly always hang up-side-down in the web, regardless of rain.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination


what’s up what’s that bug?
Hello there.
I enjoy the site which I stumbled upon in trying to help my nephew learn more about his favorite past time, looking at bugs. Nonetheless I know think I have an appropriate question with which I need help. A few weeks ago, as the night temperatures began to dip into the 30’s (Fahrenheit), I removed the air-conditioner from my apartment window. Falling from the unit’s crevasses were tens of these bugs, which I have never seen before. This specific window faces the NNW and gets no direct sunlight as well there a number of tress about 30 feet away from my 4 th story, multi-dwelling apartment building in the heart of Georgetown, Washington DC. The pictures a crude, but can you identify these creatures? To be honest I am not typically ‘grossed-out’ by a bug or two, however the quantity here (as shown in one photo) and the proximity of my hands, arms and bare feet to tens of falling, semi-lifeless bugs was odd… Hope all is well. Thanks!
Washington, DC

Hi Victor,
Your home is being invaded by Stink Bugs in the family Pentatomidae. Many True Bugs, including Stink Bugs, Western Conifer Seed Bugs and Boxelder Bugs, invade homes to excape the cold of winter. Your photo does not have enough detail to get an exact species identification, but there are individuals in several genera pictured on BugGuide that look very close. These include Apateticus, Banasa, Euschistus, Menecles, and the predatory Spined Soldier Bug in the genus Podisus.

Update: from Eric Eaton (11/28/2007)
I have the unfortunate answer to the “stink bug home invasion.” The species in the image is the recently introduced “brown marmorated stink bug,” Halyomorpha halys. It is well known for its habit of congregating on, or in, homes to overwinter, in contrast to our native stink bug species. So far, Halyomorpha halys is known mostly from Pennsylvania and adjacent states (and District of Columbia, obviously), but other populations have turned up in Oregon and elsewhere. It is a good idea for anyone with invading stink bugs to alert their state department of agriculture to positively identify the offending insects.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Orange Drummer cicadas
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. /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!

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