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

What’s this bug?
Would love to know what this bug is? Spotted on the coast in Sawtell, NSW. Looks like it’s mouth part is a giant sucker? Big thanks
Hazel Wallace
Uralla, NSW

Hi Hazel,
This is a Mantispid or Mantisfly, sometimes called a Mantid Lacewing. There is only one species pictured on the Geocities site, Ditaxis biseriata, and it looks very similar to the individual in your photo.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Two pretty bugs 1 butterfly 1 unknown to me. Florida
The first one I am not sure what it is, but it had some pretty colors on it. The other is a butterfly that I found in my garage, don’t know how it got in there but it was very pretty. It would be great if you could tell what kind of bugs these are. I live in SW Florida. Thank you for your time,

Hi Heather,
Your unknown insect is a Polka Dot Wasp Moth, and we currently have an image on our homepage. Your butterfly is known as a Common Buckeye.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this wasp
First, I apologize for the large file. I do not want to resize it as the wasps are small already. I could not (and did not want) to go closer. I could not find the exact match from . I think they look like polistes paper wasp, but not very sure. Please help identify. The picture was taken in Bangkok, Thailand. The nest (or comb ?) is about 6 feet from the ground. Please also advise if they are dangerous. They look tame to me. Thanks

Hi Wit,
According to a website we located, this is a Banded Paper Wasp, Polistes sagittarius. The author of the website writes: “This species, in my experience, is rather defensive. It will tolerate people moving calmly around the nest, but any attempt to get close is met with suspicion and defensive behaviour from the workers. The workers attack if the nest is touched, and unlike many other species which wildly sting whatever they can latch on to, this species often aims straight for the head! However, like most Polistines, its nests do not pose a threat in most cases, unless built near very crowded areas.” The species is found in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere in Asia.

Update: (12/10/2007)
Hi Daniel and Lisa Anne,
Hope the end-of-the-semester finds you both well. These paper wasps in Thailand are guarding their grubs, as nearly all of the hymenoptera do. They’re eaten in various parts of the world; ant pupae are exported and are sold here in Providence, but not bee/wasp/hornet larvae or pupae. I haven’t tried any yet, but I’ll get my chance soon. I keep hearing they’re great, and you did get that really cool letter from Tla-i-ga recently about yellowjackets. Here’s an interesting picture [one of a series] of the same kind of thing in China: All the best,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large red ant This time, with photo!
I found this ant crawling through my hallway and have tried unsuccessfully to identify it. Can you help? It is about 1/2 inch long. I thought it might be some type of carpenter ant; they are pretty common around here. This little guy has a very distinctive white stripe around his abdomen, though, and I couldn’t find anything similar in my bug books or online. Thank you!
Cedar Hill, TX
p.s.: Sorry, I forgot to attach the photo the first time

Hi Mandy,
Though it looks like an ant, and is called a Velvet Ant, your insect is a flightless female wasp. Be careful, as she can deliver a very painful sting.

(12/08/2007) Large red ant
I’m sorry, but I don’t think so. I know what velvet ants look like, I have had them in my yard. (see attached photo) I know they are actually wingless wasps. They are much bigger, and much hairier than this bug. This guy is large for an ant, but only 1/2 inch. I know it looks large in the picture, but I had a hard time putting something next it for size contrast since it wouldn’t be still.

Hi again Mandy,
We gave you a very general answer. Velvet Ants are a family of wasps, the females of which are generally brightly colored and flightless. The family is Mutillidae. Your original image might be in the genus Timulla, or the genus Pseudomethoca, or perhaps some other genus. We are not sure of the species. Your second photo is also a Velvet Ant, and this one is in the genus Dasymutilla. It appears to be a Cow Killer, Dasymutilla occidentalis, but the photo is too blurry to be certain. So both of your images are of Velvet Ants, but they are different species.

Update: (04/02/2008) ID for insects
Hey, my name is Will, this is a list of the ID’s for the velvet ant page. 3. sphaeropthalma pensylvanica.
image 4. could be either dasymutilla californica, coccineohirta, or vestita depending on local. hope this helps a bit. hope this helps a bit.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Need Help Identifying This Insect.
Hello Bugman,
I think your site is neat, although i have to admit that i have a slight fear of insects, your site allows me to look at them within the safety of my computer screen. Heres a quick picture of one i found near the front door of our house that intrigued me. My initial thought was praying mantis, but i could not find a kind that matched exactly to the one i found, so im hoping you can help me out. Thanks,
Brian, Southern Florida.

Hi Brian,
This is a Grizzled Mantis, Gonatista grisea, so your identification was correct. They are harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bugs inside Milk Powder Cans
Dear Sirs,
We just searched websites for Booklice bug and found your website. We’re seeking a technical advice concerning bug contamination that recently found in our canned milk powder, made of tinplate metal can-packaging. Kindly view the attached picture showing the bugs that might be Booklice bug, found inside the cans and suspected came from carton layers that are used to stack the empty cans on a pallet up to 2 meters can-stack height. We use corrugated Carton layers with specification of Medium 100 triple layer, meaning that the top flute and bottom layer are made from ex recycle carton materials. Why Booklice bug loves to stay in carton layers; hope you can provide us some advices on how to overcome it. What pest-control required to get rid of these bugs? Looking forward to your valuable advice; with kind regards,
Jakarta, Indonesia

Hi Kristianto,
First off, we agree that you have Booklice or Psocids, insects in the order Psocoptera, probably the family Ectopsocidae. They feed on starch which explains their presence in the cardboard. They feed on sizing, paste and glue of book bindings as well. Your problem would seem to be how to prevent the Booklice from being transfered into the cans during the packing process. Sorry, we do not offere extermination advice. Booklice are in the order Psocoptera and are not true lice, nor do they harm people or bite. They would much rather eat mold and fungi. Most Booklice are in the family Liposcelidae and you can find some additional photos on BugGuide. We also located a North Carolina University website that states: “The presence of booklice can be quite an annoyance; however, they rarely cause significant damage to items. Most often, the damp conditions and developing mold or fungi have already caused the damage.” Large numbers of Booklice may be present in stacks of newspapers stored in damp places. The previously mentioned NCU website also gives the following advice; “Non-chemical management Reducing moisture and maintaining relative humidity below 50% will provide excellent control of booklice. Use a fan or dehumidifier to dry out damp rooms or other locations. Repair any leaky plumbing. Try to determine and remedy the cause of any condensation around doors, windows, air conditioning units, or other areas. Eliminate any standing water. Do not over-water houseplants. Reduce or eliminate potential harborage areas by sealing up cracks and crevices. Remove or dispose of items that could be harboring mold and fungi, such as old books, cardboard, papers, wallpaper, and food goods stored in damp conditions. Those items that cannot be removed or disposed of should be stored in airtight plastic bags or containers in cool, dry, and well ventilated areas. Clean up any spilled food goods such as cereal or flour that could serve as a source for mold growth. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination