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

Air attack by hornets on crab
In Oman recently, observed some hornets attacking a crab which was defending a piece of discarded food on the beach. Three hornets ended up attacking together from different directions. The crab just swiped at them with its big claw. The hornets gave up in the end. Hope the pictures are of interest.
John Jackson

Hi John,
Wow, what action photos you have sent us. These are Oriental Hornets, Vespa orientalis, and they are social wasps. We found a website that identifies them, lists the distribution as northern africa, western asia and madagascar, and gives other information about them. We are not sure what type of crab it is and we haven’t the time to research that right now.

Update (12/03/2007) crab vs. hornet
that has to be the funniest picture I have ever seen! It’s like David and Goliath. I guess the hornets thought it was worth the try. I’m sure the crab was laughing! happy holidays
Lee Weber
Nottingham PA

Hi Lee,
We agree that these photos are quite amazing. We were in a big rush to post them this morning before going to work.

Update: (12/05/2007) The crab and the oriental hornets
Hi Daniel,
The crab in those really great pictures is a species of Ghost Crab, genus Ocypode. They are called ghost crabs because at least some of the species are so well camouflaged that they are pretty much invisible on the sand until they move, which is often very rapidly indeed! In the Caribbean they come out of their burrows towards the end of the day. I don’t know which species this would be, as there are apparently 5 different species in the genus in Oman. All the very best,
Susan Hewitt

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

sparks fly for lightning bug lovers
Love love love your site!! Provides daily education and entertainment & has helped me id many insects in my little Brooklyn NY garden. Who knew so many interesting and cool bugs exist in urbania!? Anyway, wanted to contribute to your “Bug Love” page with these mating fireflies captured a couple nights ago

Hi Patrice,
Oddly, though your email arrived today, it was dated July 8. July is the more appropriate time of year to see Fireflies. At any rate, we are thrilled to have your photo of mating Fireflies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

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: katydid.htm
Hope this helps. Best wishes,

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

white "mittened" fly (?)
Hi Lisa Anne and Daniel,
This entire summer, I’ve been slightly obsessed w/ your web site. Every day I look with awe and envy at the amazing insects people send photos of. In my tiny Brooklyn, NY garden – my little urban oasis – I wondered what potential existed. So, I began to LOOK. Oh yes… even here in NYC there live a pretty interesting array of bugs! Once I really started paying attention, I discovered preying mantids, & katydids, cool caterpillars & spiders, stink bugs, bees of many types, tons of cicadas this year… even cicada killers. I’ve identified my "finds" on your incredible site, but this one has me stumped. I’ve narrowed it down to a fly of some kind (I think). I’ve searched the web but haven’t found one with those little white "mittens" on its front legs….can you help? I thank you and all the folks who contribute bug pics for MANY hours of enjoyment and education and most importantly…inspiration to see what lurks beyond the obvious.

Hi again Patrice,
We received three back to back emails from you and all have different dates. This one was dated September 4, 2006. Have they been lost in cyperspace for over a year? We believe this is a Long Legged Fly in the family Dolichopodidae. Though BugGuide doesn’t have any that have the exact markings of your specimen, several are similar.

Correction: (12/03/2007)
Hi, Daniel: The “long-legged fly, perhaps…” is actually a stilt-legged fly in the family Micropezidae. They are good mimics of wasps or ants (depending on the species), even waving their front legs to look like long antennae!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination