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

Spider of Mozambique
Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 9:01 AM
Hey, I don’t normally ask for help becuase I’m britty good at identifying bugs myself(not to brag) but this species turned out to be a tough one, even if you can give me a family it belongs to, better yet, a genus, I would be grateful.
Here’s a web site were the picture is and it shows exact coordinates were the picture was taken.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Big_spider_in_ Mozambique.JPG
Nicholas
Mozambique

Golden Silk Spider

Golden Silk Spider

Hi Nicholas,
This is some species of Golden Silk Spider in the genus Nephila. We haven’t the time to identify the species as we must rush to work to give our students their final examination today. Golden Silk Spiders have extremely strong webs and can catch small birds.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Gold/green transparant beetle
Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 9:46 AM
Hi Bugman,
I live in on Grand Cayman. Whilst volunteering for the Blue Iguanas at the Botanical Park last week, this beetle came out of the bucket of leaves we had collected. I can’t seem to find it on any websites so I need your help!! I have attached some photographs which should help with the ID. The transparent shell was over the wings (but split like a ladybird) and the inner half of this was coloured gold and green and speckled with blue. It had a 3rd part to the transparent shell which went over it’s head like a shield bug. The underside of it’s abdomen was also shiny. Total length maybe about 1 centimetre. It was quite happy walking around (trying to navigate my hairy arms!) but when my frined picked it up so we could get a photo of its underside it ‘crouched’ so it was very difficult to pick up.
I’ve attached some photos for you but have lots more (including one of it about to take off!) let me know if you would like to see some more.
Thanks! Emily
East End, Grand Cayman

Tortoise Beetle

Geiger Tortoise Beetle

Hi Emily,
This is some species of Tortoise Beetle. Tortoise Beetles are Leaf Beetles in the tribe Cassidini. The gorgeous metallic coloration vanishes after the insect dies, so mounted Tortoise Beetles in collections are not as beautiful as they are alive. Some Tortoise Beetles are called Gold Bugs.

Update: Monday, February 6, 2009
Daniel:
This looks like a tortoise beetle in the genus Eurypepla ( Chrysomelidae : Hispinae : Ischyrosonychini [=Physonotini]). It looks very much like E. calochroma, the Geiger Tortoise Beetle, varieties of which are found in south Florida and the Bahamas. Closely related species occur in Cuba (E. vitrea) and Jamaica (E. jamaicensis). Distribution information is very hard to find and it could be any of the above. Bugguide has some excellent images of the Geiger Tortoise Beetle, under the name Physonota calochroma. Apparently the generic placement of this species has been debated for a long time, but the current trend appears to lean toward Eurypepla. The Geiger Tortoise beetle is considered a mild pest in Florida where its preferred host is the Geiger Tree (Cordia sebestena). Regards.
Karl
http://bugguide.net/node/view/81647
http://trec.ifas.ufl.edu/mannion/pdfs/GeigerBeetle.pdf

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

spider in web with stabillamenta
Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 5:51 PM
i found this spider in a forest.i think its a saint andrews cross spider.Can you help me identify it?
curious
singapore

St. Andrew's Cross Spider

St. Andrew's Cross Spider

Dear Curious,
The St. Andrew’s Cross Spider, Argiope versicolor, is found in Singapore according to Joseph K H Koh’s Guide to Common Singapore Spiders, and the web in your image is perfectly consistent with that of the species, so we are confident your identification is correct.  Our memories of our own Catholic education did not provide a reason for the X stabilimentum and the life and death of St. Andrew, and we are quite curious since we are currently working on a book chapter on Entomology and Etymology, and your letter gives us a wonderful excuse to try to do a bit of research.  We located the following on Wikipedia:  “Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at Patras (Patrae) in Achaea . Though early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours ,[3]describe Andrew bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Christ was crucified, a tradition grew up that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross) and commonly known as ” Saint Andrew’s Cross “; this was performed at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ was crucified. [4]”The familiar iconography of his martyrdom, showing the apostle bound to an X-shaped cross, does not seem to have been standardized before the later Middle Ages,” Judith Calvert concluded after re-examining the materials studied by Louis Réau. [5]”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

nephilla spider eating cicada
Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 5:56 PM
I took this picture of a nephilla spider eating a cicada at a nature reserve.The spider was at least 10 cm from mouth to the tip of its abdomen.
curious
singapore

Golden Web Spider

Golden Web Spider

Dear Curious,
Normally we would be reluctant to try to identify which species of Golden Silk Spider you have photographed, but we suspect it is Nephila pilipes, The Golden Web Spider, which is a common species in Singapore. There is a website of Common Singapore Spiders based on a guide book by Joseph K H Koh that depicts this spider. Golden Silk Spiders in the genus Nephila have extremely strong silk in their webs and are known to catch small birds.  Your photo clearly shows the golden color of the silk.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Turquoise and Black Beetle
Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 2:43 AM
Saw this one laying on the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica. I think it was dying because it wasn’t moving much and wasn’t scared of us. It was about 2 inches long. So beautiful..
Tori
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Cicada from Costa Rica

Cicada from Costa Rica

Hi Tori,
Your mystery insect is a Cicada, not a Beetle. Cicadas are often responsible for the loud buzzing sounds you hear emanating from the treetops. We don’t know the species here, but perhaps one of our readers can supply that information. Meanwhile, we are going to ask Paco the Gardener from El Salvador to tell us the lore surrounding the Cicada in Central America and eventually post what he relates.

Update:
Hi Daniel:
This gorgeous cicada is in the genus Zammara, probably Z. smaragdina. There are one or two other possibilities in the genus, but Z. smaragdina looks the closest. I will be visiting Costa Rica myself in a few weeks and I will be looking for this beauty! Regards.
Karl
Link: http://nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/Honduras/Hemiptera/Zammara%20smaragdina.htm

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Red-headed, Red-legged, Red + Blue winged, Yellow striped bug
Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 10:49 AM
Dear Bugman
I must begin with an apology that the bug whose identification I request is decapitated in the attached photograph but assure you that this is not a bug mug shot to be assigned to the ‘unnecessary carnage’ division. Its savage death occurred through no fault of my own and since squashing my last ant at the tender age of four, I harbour no entomophobic tendencies whatsoever. The unfortunate demise of this particular bug was marked by its collision with the front grid of a giant purple overland truck travelling at high speed across the border between Namibia and South Africa in the sweltering heat of summer. You will be pleased to know that a minute’s respectful silence was observed in memory of the roadkill bug; and I will be pleased to know its name.
Desperately Seeking sp.
The South African- Namibian border

probably Gaudy Grasshopper

probably Gaudy Grasshopper

Dear Desperately Seeking Species,
We suspect this is one of the Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers in the family Pyrgomorphidae.  The family is also known as the Gaudy Grasshoppers.  Those warning colors are a dead giveaway.  We are thoroughly amazed at the number of submissions from Namibia we have received in recent weeks.  When time permits, we may try to do a more thorough species identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination