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

3 horns, red and black beetle
Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 6:11 PM
This bug is in the Dominican Republic, the picture was taken in March or April. He hangs out on the balcony at my boyfriend’s apartment.
GH
Dominican Republic

Ox Beetle

Ox Beetle

Dear GH,
This appears to us to be an Ox Beetle in the genus Strategus. There are several similar looking species in the U.S. and they are pictured on BugGuide, but we haven’t had much luck locating a photo online of any Caribbean species. We did find mention of two species in the Dominican Republic, Strategus atlanticus and Strategus verrilli, but alas, no photos. We can tell you that this is a male beetle as evidenced by the horns. We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he can confirm, deny or elaborate.

Ox Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I don’t think this is a leaf footed bug
Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 7:34 AM
I took this picture today (4/24/09) in my wife’s herb garden. I tried to research it online and the closest I can come up with is a leaf footed bug, but I don’t think it’s a perfect match. We are located in Corpus Christi, Texas, and it is starting to get warm outside with relatively high humidity. If you are able to identify this bug, is it harmful to the plants? We only have herbs and flowers, no fruits or vegetables.
Tim Weitzel
Corpus Christi, Texas

possibly Giant Agave Bug

possibly Giant Agave Bug

Dear Tim,
You are correct. This is a Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug in the family Coreidae. This is a family with much diversity. According to BugGuide, there are 33 genera and at least 88 species in North America. We believe your specimen is in the genus Acanthocephala. BugGuide lists five species and four are reported from Texas, though the information page on the genus on BugGuide indicates that all five may be found in Texas. We are not certain which of the species your specimen is, but the only one with a common name is Acanthocephala thomasi, the Giant Agave Bug which “Feeds on juice of the Agave plant, according to this site . Also feeds on legumes “. We doubt any of the species would ever be so plentiful as to damage individual plants.

Update: Wed, 6 May 2009 17:40:24 -0700 (PDT)
Daniel:
The leaf-footed bug from Corpus Christi, TX is indeed in the genus Acanthocephala, but it is unmistakably Acanthocephala declivis.  That steep front edge to the thorax is pretty diagnostic.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

blister beetle (lytta aenea) beseiged by smaller beetles (pedilus terminalus?)
Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 7:07 AM
Hey bugman, I was walking through the woods here at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee and I came upon this blister beetle (id’d courtesy of Eric Eaton and y belov on bugguide) being beseiged by the smaller beetles. According to Eric, the smaller beetles are after the cantharidin that the blister beetle secretes as a defense mechanism. I had never seen this before. Eric said that though this behavior was not unheard of, it was not observed very often. I though i would share a picture with you. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks so much for an amazing website!
Thanks, Michael Davis
Maryville, Tennessee

Blister Beetle and cantharidin hungry Fire Colored Beetles

Blister Beetle and cantharidin hungry Fire Colored Beetles

Hi Michael,
Thanks so much for providing our site with your wonderful documentation of a Blister Beetle and the opportunistic Fire Colored Beetles.  According to Jim McClarin on  BugGuide:  “Male pyrochroid beetles seek out blister beetles, climb onto them and lick off the cantharidin the blister beetles exude. Not only have these beetles developed a resistance to the cantharidin, they use the blistering agent to impress a female of their own species who then mates with them, whereupon most of the cantharidin is transfered to the female in the form of a sperm packet. The eggs the female subsequently lays are coated with cantharidin to protect them from being eaten before they hatch.”  If we ever did something crazy like trying to pursue a degree in Entomology, we believe we would specialize in the family Meloidae as we are constantly fascinated by Blister Beetles and their amazing diversity and complex life cycles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Found possible rare “mold” looking spider in Papua New Guinea
Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 7:14 PM
I recently returned from six weeks of work in the Papua New Guinea jungle, mostly in the Southern Highlands. While we came across many strange bugs and spiders, none were more strange than this one. I have so far been been unable to find any photos resembling anything like this species and am wondering if we may have stumbled upon something very rare or unnamed (I’m sure you get this question often). The spider was about 5 cm across and covered with fine hair, which makes it look out of focus in the photo. Evolution clearly intended this spider to look like a patch of mold. As you’ll see, the abdomen is distinctly concave and looks like a thin plate of mold. It was resting on a live tree covered in red paper-like bark. Even the locals seemed interested, leading me to believe this wasn’t an everyday sighting. As a g eologist, I know it’s imperative to include a scale, but unfortunately I forgot as I was preoccupied with work. I’m very curious to hear what you’ve got to say.
Thanks,
Brian
Near the Tari Basin, Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Spider infested with Fungus

Spider infested with Fungus

Hi Brian,
We believe, based on its shape, that your spider is one of the Giant Crab Spiders in the family Sparassidae, but we don’t believe it is a living specimen. It is our opinion that this spider is riddled with fungus, leading to its unusual appearance. Many spiders and insects are killed by fungus infections.

Update:  Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 8:32 PM
Daniel,
Thanks for the quick response.  The possibility of this being a dead animal had not crossed my, nor the others I was with.  After looking at the image again, I noticed the spider is only attached to the tree with four legs, resting in a vertical position on a live tree.  Could he be dead and still be attached with no apparent web etc?  I’ve attached the full-sized image and filtered out some of the noise.  Thanks for your help.
Regards,
Brian Gray
Staff Geologist
URS Corporation

Hi Brian,
We are sticking to our original ID.  The fungus may have grown onto the leaf, attaching the spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this a Bogan moth?
Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 5:27 AM
Came home tonight during the rain, found this little bird shaking its wings in the corner. It was very dark, and I initially thought it was a bit of plastic shaking in the wind, except there was no wind.
I’ve seen many big moths, we are in a bogan migration path apparently (Canberra Australia) but I’ve never anything this big before, and its tail seemed fatter than Im used to seeing. Just wanted to know if its size was unusual, and what type of moth it is.
Feel free to keep/use the pics if they’re interesting. I have a short movie clip of it shaking its wings, but its very dark.
Ken
Canberra Australia

Unknown Moth

Ghost Moth

Hi Ken,
While it looks vaguely Sphinxlike, we do not believe your moth is a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae. We did a cursory search on the Csiro Australian Moth site, but had no luck. We have found references to Bogan Moths being eaten in Australia, but the photos seem to be of widely differing species. We haven’t the time to more fully research your question right now, and it is our hope that some reader will provide an answer.

Unknown Moth

Comment: Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 6:50 PM
Try Hepialidae, a lot of Australian ones look like chubby awkward sphinx moths, maybe Abantiades sp.

We researched this on Csiro Entomology page  and found a likely Abantiades hydrographus and Abantiades marcidus.

Update:  August 5, 2012
We are trying to clean up some unidentified postings and we realized some of our previous links are no longer active.  We can link to a page on Ghost Moths from Australia on the Atlas of Living Australia website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Update: Sunday 26 April 2009, 1:13 AM
Things have been happening with the aquaria, now numbering 3. The fry tank/nursery tank now has about 100 or so fry from two hatchings. The first eggs were laid on Monday 31 March and the second batch on Good Friday, 10 April 2009. The pair of Angelfish have not laid any more eggs since then, or at least I know nothing of spawnings that might have been eaten. The two different batches of fry are cohabitating in the fry nursery. I hope to move the largest fry to the newly set up 50 gallon aquarium.

10 gallon Angelfish Fry nursery tank

10 gallon Angelfish Fry nursery tank

The Fry Nursery has two airstones and I siphon the water from the bottom of the tank every day or two at most. I have been gradually raising the level of the water as I add new water. New water is a combination of tap water with Stress Coat added, bottled spring water, and water from the parent’s tank. The temperature fluctuates between 82 and 84 degrees F. I feed the fry at least twice a day on live baby brine shrimp or frozen baby brine shrimp. I feed them until their pink bellies are bulging. The largest fry are beginning to look like Angelfish. I now feed them live brine shrimp and about two cubes of frozen baby brine shrimp a day. I am also trying to get them acclimated to eating crumbled flake food.

two generations of Angelfish Fry

two generations of Angelfish Fry

I hope to move some of the largest fry on Monday.

26 day old Angelfish

26 day old Angelfish

The 50 gallon aquarium is awaiting the fry. I set it up last Saturday and on Sunday I introduced 4 platies to help cycle the tank. On Friday, 24 April, Dean gave me a new product to try to instant cycle the aquarium. It is called Start Smart and I added all four ounces to the 50 gallon aquarium. I then added 10 Rummy Nosed Tetras that are the most awesome schooling fish. Unlike any other tetras I have ever kept, the Rummy Nosed Tetras stay in a school. I contemplated getting a few more, but this aquarium is specifically for the growing Angelfish, and the school of Rummy Nosed Tetras is strictly set dressing. I also hope to bring my two boarded Angelfish home to this tank. They are growing back their pectoral fins.
Also, yesterday, I caught three of the Platy Fish to return to Tropical Imports. I could not catch the pretty reddish one that was my first pick. It was just too fast and I did not feel like ripping up my plants.

50 Gallon Aquarium

50 Gallon Aquarium

Those are brine shrimp hatcheries on top of the aquarium. My house is cold and keeping the brine shrimp hatching tanks on top of a heated aquarium helps with the temperature. Also, the brine shrimp gather near the light and are easy to eyedrop out.

Update: 27 April 2009
I checked the water today and that product, Start Smart, and alas, the ammonia is up to .25 ppm, which is not bad, but the Nitrites are up to 2.0 to 5.0. That is high. The Nitrites were at .25 the day I got the Rummy Nose Tetras. While at Tropical Imports today, I got 2 more Panda Cory Cats (since 1 died in the 40 gallon community tank) and one Corydoras aeneas. When I realized the Nitrites were high, I only added the C. aneas to the 50 gallon tank, and added the two Panda Cory Cats to the community aquarium instead.

Update: We moved some Fry
4 May 2009
Two relatively significant event have occurred this weekend. Yesterday we moved 12 of the biggest fry to the 50 gallon aquarium. As expected, the Rummy Nose Tetras chased them around, but this morning, there were still 12 dime sized (including fins) fry doing well. We moved an additional fry today bringing the total in the 50 gallon aquarium to 13. This final individual eluded us yesterday when trying to capture the largest fry. They are feeding on live baby brine shrimp, frozen baby brine shrimp, crumbled dry food, chopped frozen blood worms, and pieces of adult frozen brine shrimp. As the fry in the 10 gallon nursery begin to resemble the scalare form, they will be moved.

The second significant event is a bit of an embarrassment. On Saturday, while making a trip to Tropical Imports to buy more brine shrimp eggs, we noticed our Angelfish that have been boarding there laid eggs. Many were white and fungus-riddled, but there seemed to be a significant number of viable eggs. We price a 29 gallon aquarium with stand and got a good deal on an XP2 filter. Sunday morning, we bought the tank after thinking about if overnight. The next morning, the eggs were gone, either eaten or hatched and moved. We couldn’t see the fry anywhere, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still alive. Today, we set up the tank in the corner of the room by the fireplace. We didn’t get a hood, and there are no plants yet. We wish we could buy another large Amazon sword, but we don’t know if there are any left in the store. We may move some of our smaller plants, including propagated baby sword plants. Hopefully next weekend, we can bring the boarded Angelfish home. If they lay viable eggs, they can stay in the aquarium alone. If they don’t lay viable eggs, we will probably move our established pair to the solitary tank and move the boarders to the community aquarium. Interestingly, the fins grew back fully on the second fish we boarded, and only the left pectoral fin grew back on the first Angelfish we boarded out. That prompted Dean to name that fish “Lefty”. There are no new photos since we are having difficulties with the camera.

Update:  We moved 8 more Fry
8 May 2009
The first 13 fry we moved to the 50 gallon tank have grown so much, we moved 8 more tonight.  They are considerably smaller than the first 13, but we tried to pick out the largest individuals in the fry nursery.  There are now 21 fry in the 50 gallon tank that they share with 9 Rummy Nose Tetras, a single Platy and a Cory Cat.  The tetras love the baby brine shrimp we are still feeding to the fry, but the fry are beginning to take larger brine shrimp as well.

We had a few more fish losses in the 40 gallon tank.  We lost a Glowlight Tetra yesterday, and a Panda Cat the day before.  It has been very hot outside and our water temperature is 90º.  The 40 gallon tank now contains a pair of Angelfish, 6 Blue Rams, 6 Blue Emperor Tetras (one of which has a popeye), 8 Cardinal Tetras, 5 Glowlight Tetras (though one looks a fit funny), 4 Black Phantom Tetras and 5 Panda Cats (though we have only counted 4 for the past two days).

Perhaps tomorrow we will bring home our other 2 Angelfish, a possible mated pair, that have been at Tropical Imports for about 6 weeks.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination