From the monthly archives: "January 2009"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Double red headed bug?
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 12:23 PM
Hi,
I was mineral hounding in southern california a few days ago and found this bug(?) underneath a stone. Although the picture isn`t good, you can recognize its kind of fluffy red head, the antennae and the six legs. The the size was just below an inch.
Thank you for your help
Patrick
Riverside, California

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Hi Patrick,
Your photo is blurry, and we are far from experts in the genus Dasymutilla, the Velvet Ants.  Female Velvet Ants are flightless wasps that can sting painfully.  The harmless male wasps have wings.  If we were to hazard a guess, we would saty that this is Dasymutilla aureola pacifica based on images posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bright Red Crab-like Bug
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 2:21 PM
My brother found this on a house plant. He lives in Brazil. Have any idea what this is and if it’s poisonous?
Clayton Robinson
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Unknown Slug Caterpillar

Slug Caterpillar

Hi Clayton,
While we cannot tell you the species, we suspect this is a Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae. Your specimen closely resembles the Monkey Slug or Hag Moth Caterpillar which can be viewed on BugGuide. Slug Caterpillars have stinging spines and the sting can be quite painful and stays irritated for several days.

Update:
Daniel:
I think this slug caterpillar may have been posted before (Brazilian Monkey Slug Caterpillar – December 18th, 2007). In a follow-up note, the poster (Luiz) commented that the local name was “Lagarta-Aranha” which translated roughly to “Spider Caterpillar”. That name seems to be applied to a variety of Limacodidae caterpillars in Brazil, but most commonly to Phobetron hipparchia, an extremely variable species that ranges widely throughout the tropical Americas. That’s the same genus as the North American Monkey Slug Caterpillar (P. pithecium)and they do look very similar. Regards.
Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help me ID bug in Chicagoland area
Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 1:17 PM
One of these appears about every 7-10 days in a second floor bathroom. It’s now the dead of winter and I saw a few more of them in late fall. Can you help identify? It is about 1 inch long. Thanks
TW
Northeern Kane County IL

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear TW,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, is a harmless creature that seeks shelter indoors when the weather turns colder.  Interestingly, in the past 30 years, this species has undergone tremendous range expansion from its native Pacific Northwest to include much of Canada and the northern portions of teh Eastern and Midwestern U.S.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug from Australia
Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 4:56 PM
Never seen this before, found in front yard of my house on a Elm tree leaf, the photo doesnt do it justice it looks much more beautiful in real life thats why i ran into my house to grab the camera and it moves around so swiftly, we are in the middle of summer january 18
bkorpar
Melbourne Doncaster

Beautiful Cockroach

Beautiful Cockroach

Dear bkorpar,
According to the Insects of Brisbane website, this is a Beautiful Cockroach or Austral Ellipsidion, Ellipsidion australe. According to the site: “This Cockroach is active at day time, running freely on the leaves and flowers. Most other cockroaches are scavengers, they feed on almost everything. We are not exactly sure what this Austral Ellipsidion Cockroach feed on, but they are always found on plants, seldom on the ground. They are believed feed on pollen, honeydew and mould fungus.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

shiny stinkbug colony
Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 8:49 AM
dear bugman
I found a bunch of stinkbugs huddled on a leaf in a mangrove swamp.Could you help me identify them?Why are they huddled together?Are they laying eggs?
Thanks
Curious
Singapore

Jewel Bugs

Jewel Bugs

Dear Curious,
In our opinion, there are Shield Bugs or Jewel Bugs in the family Scutelleridae, not Stink Bugs in the family Pentatomidae. Interestingly, the closest image we could locate online is on the Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore website, and the matching insects are identified as Calliphara nobilis in the Family Pentatomidae and indicates: “Larvae are found only on Excoecaria agallocha, feeding on developing seeds, but adults can be abundant in gregarious swarms beneath any large leaves (e.g., Rhizophora spp.) and disperse with a loud buzzing when disturbed.” The plant that is mentioned as the larval food, Excoecaria agallocha or Buta-Buta, looks identical to the plant leaf in your photo. W
e tried searching that name, and found a mounted specimen on an Australian Government website, but the colors are different and the spots are larger and the family is identified as Scutelleridae. The spot size may be variable and the colors may fade with death. An untranslated Asian website has many images of the species, and other than being much greener than your image, they look remarkably similar.  Sadly, the species is not represented on one of these lovely stamps.

Jewel Bugs

Jewel Bugs

Update: April 2, 2011
We just posted a new letter and consequently, we have identified these Jewel Bugs as Mangrove Stink Bugs,
Calliphara nobilis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

tarantula in costa rica?
Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 3:00 PM
hi there,
we found this one taking refuge from the rain last night in our room near san isidro, costa rica… wondering if you can tell us what it is and whether it’s f or m?
thanks so much!
kyla
san isidro, costa rica

Unknown Tarantula from Costa Rica

Unknown Tarantula from Costa Rica

Hi Kyla,
After searching the images on the Tarantula Photo Gallery Website, we don’t feel that we have the necessary skills to provide you with an accurate identification. There are not enough similarities to make the Costa Rican Tigerump , Cyclosternum fasciatum, a definite positive ID. We couldn’t find a satisfactory match on the Gallery of Tarantulas webpage, but there are several species from Venezuala and Costa Rica named Suntigers. The dark diamond pattern between the red markings on your specimen is very distinctive, and doesn’t match anything we can find. After 45 minutes of unsuccessful searching, the best we can do is to post your image and hope an Arachnophile has the answers to your questions.

Update: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 10:52:56 -0800 (PST)
Hi, Daniel:
I suspect the ornate tarantula from Costa Rica is a juvenile specimen, in which case there is no telling what gender it is.  Males do not get their secondary sexual characteristics until their final molt into adulthood.  Many species can be quite colorful as immatures, while being rather “dull” in color as adults.  Not sure if anyone will be able to conclude the identification if it ‘is’ a baby.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination