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

Iridescent Christmas Beetle from Australia
November 3, 2009
Hi, I’ve seen some recent posts about the brownish Christmas Beetles. Here are some photos of a gorgeous bright green beetle rescued from our swimming pool last summer. We always called these ones Christmas Beetles as kids (ignored the bworn ones), they were highly sought-after. The CSIRO site is fabulous if you know which bit of a beetle is which http://anic.ento.csiro.au/insectfamilies/, but I wouldn’t know a notoplural suture if it bit me (perhaps it has). Can you help? Thanks
Elizabeth
Melbourne, Australia (southeastern seaboard)

Golden Green Stag Beetle

Stag Beetle

Dear Elizabeth,
WE aren’t certain, but we don’t believe this is a Christmas Beetle.  We don’t even think it is a Scarab Beetle.  We actually believe it is a Stag Beetle.  We found some matches on a BunyipCo Stag Beetle site.  A Lamprima species looks very close, and there is another image entitled “minor” male King Stag Beetle that also looks close.  Searching Lamprima brought us to the Brisbane Insect website, and a species called the Golden Green Stag Beetle, Lamprima latreillii, and we are happy with that as an identification.  It is also depicted on the Csiro website.

Golden Green Stag Beetle

Conflicting Opinion:  Rainbow Stag Beetle or King Stag Beetle
Hi
This beetle is a Phalacrognathus Muelleri, commonly known as rainbow or king stag beetle. Both of the picture show females. plenty of info on web about these a commonly kept, i have a breeding pair at moment. hope this helps
Dixiedoo2

Dear Dixiedoo2,
Thanks for the differing opinion.  Interestingly, the Bunyipco Stag Beetle site did not identify the King Stag Beetle by its scientific name.  The Insect Company website has an image of a pair with this information:  “This is possibly the most attractive of all the Stag Beetles with it’s irridescent green sheen. It is not a common beetle in the North Australian Rain Forest where it lives. The females lay their eggs in very specific types of rotten timber on the forest floor. Specimens will occasionally come to ultra violet lights just after dusk. The hour just after dusk seems to be this insects main flight time.”
Those interested in raising this lovely beetle may want to reference the InsectaCulture Breeding Report we found online.  YouTube has a video of the beetles in the wild.

Update from Elizabeth
Dear bugpersons,
hi, I’m having trouble navigating the WTB comments section hence the reply email.
First, thanks for the ID on my not-a-Christmas-beetle.  I was thrilled to see it up on the site and really impressed that you could work out so quickly it was not at all what I have always thought it was.  I think you are right and the beastie is (was) a Golden Green Stag Beetle.  Dixiedoo2 is wrong: (1) it was found in Melbourne, not the Far North Queensland rainforest, and as I have seen a fair number of them down here in my lifetime it’s a bit hard to think they were all lost.  (2) They’re common enough for southern schoolkids to know about them, P. Muelleri is described as rare.  (3)  I saw the damn thing and had it clinging to my finger for fifteen minutes.  It did not look anything like any photo I’ve found of either a male or a female Phalacrognathus Muelleri.  It looked a heck of a lot like the images of golden-green stag beetles I found on the web after your reply.  (4) It was approx 15-20mm long, not the 24-45mm cited by various sites for female length.  (5) Colouration was light iridescent goilden-green, dame texture on thorax and back. P. Muelleri looks like it can be quite dark and has a pinkish tinge to its carapace; the throrax is dull and the back extremely shiny.  (6) Mandibles of female P. muelleri are squat and thick, on the specimen I found they were slender.
BTW the photos are of the same animal, once on my hand immediately after rescue and once after release on a tree, so of course both show a beetle of the same gender, whatever that is. This is pretty clear if you lok at the water droplets visible in each photo.
Thankyou.  I feel better now.
Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth,
Thanks for all the additional information, and we are sorry the comment option on our website is problematic.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

rhino or coleoptera type beetle.
November 2, 2009
found in october, flying around the light, middle of the Daintree rainforest. as you can see he/she was quite big.
emmitted a squeaking sound when provoked and sounded like a mini helicopter while flying haha.
i’ve named it george. and i’m of to the pub, it seems quite happy on my shoulder for now.
Matt
cape tribulation australia QLD

Female Rhinoceros Beetle

Female Rhinoceros Beetle

Hi Matt,
We would recommend changing George’s name to Georgina since we believe she is a female Rhinoceros Beetle, Xylotrupes gideon.  You can view a pair on the Natural Worlds website.  This common Southeast Asian species is also found in Northern Australia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Please identify this winged creature
November 1, 2009
Found this bug outside my door, while in med school in St,Maarten
Dmitry
St.Maarten, Carribean

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth

Hi Dmitry,
This is a Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, Empyreuma affinis.  It is native to the Caribbean and has been introduced to Florida.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this Orange, Yellow, Black bug?
October 31, 2009
Flying insect found in Anne Arundel County, MD. Size =0.75 inch. Wing span compact (delta shape) about 1.25 inches when extended. Dark wing veins. Head and feet black. Abdomen yellow/orange and appears “fuzzy”.
Currently swarming. Swarms appear to be mating and are found on top branches of euonymus bushes (our Burning Bush was decimated by caterpillars this spring, could this be the same insect?). Never seen this variety of bug in past 12 years in this area.
Peter
Anne Arundel County, MD 21146

Unknown Sawfly? or Moth???

Unknown Sawfly? or Moth???:  Leaf Skeletonizer Moth

Hi Peter,
We really wish your photograph was of a higher resolution as it is impossible to make out any details on your infestation.  We found information on a Euonymus Caterpillar, Yponomeuta cagnagella, but the photos of the moths on BugGuide look nothing like your insect.  We also located a pdf (euonymus_A3633) on the same species.  We believe your insects look like Sawflies, but again, there isn’t much detail.  We have not had any success locating information on a Sawfly that uses Euonymus as a host plant.  If there was a caterpillar invasion in the spring, and sawfly larvae are often confused for caterpillars, we suspect these adults might be related.  We would not rule out moths, but we suspect these are Sawflies.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in a proper identification.

Unknown Sawfly? or Moth???

Unknown Sawfly? or Moth???:  Leaf Skeletonizer Moth

Eric Eaton Responds:
Oh, man….My first thought is “aphids,” actually, or maybe psyllids?  Might try sending this to the Ent Dept. at University of Maryland in College Park.  They will probably recognize it right off….
Eric

Bagworm Moth Perhaps

Leaf Skeletonizer Moth Perhaps

Our identification request:
Dear Drs. Mitter, Kent and/or Hawthorne,
My name is Daniel Marlos and I run the highly unscientific, pop culture, insect identification website What’s That Bug? at www.whatsthatbug.com on the web.  Today I received an image from Maryland that has me perplexed.  I thought perhaps a sawfly or even a moth like a Bagworm.  Eric Eaton has suggested possibly an Aphid or a Psyllid.  The insect is swarming on Euonymus and there were caterpillars on the same plant in the spring.  Can anyone provide an identification?  I realize the photo is of very low resolution.
Thanks for your time.  Here is a link to the posting:  2009/11/02/sawfly-on-euonymus-we-believe/
Daniel Marlos

Bagworm Moths Maybe

Daniel,
Thanks for the reply.  I’ll have to work on getting a camera that can do close-ups.  I looked at the sawfly photos on Google images- not even close. The bugs in my yard have dark heads (black) and fuzzy (furry) bodies.  No saw extending out the back of abdomen.
The antenna are very long and branching like those of a moth.
The head and legs are black.  The wings translucent with black veins and a black hue. The abdomen is bright yellow-orange and fuzzy.
I’ve tried to take some additional photos (bugs out side are rather sluggish in the cool weather), but I still lack close-up lens to really get detail.  I’ll send these in separate e-mails since they are rather large.
Look forward any further thoughts you may have.  They are a very unusual and quiet beautiful bug….
Peter

Unknown Moth on Euonymus

Leaf Skeletonizer Moth on Euonymus

Thanks Peter,
The new photos are so much better.

Identified by Edna
NAKED see this
now that i have your attention..here is a link to those things you wanted to know what are from anne arundal county,,,that eric eaton thought could be aphids
they are something new! an introduced species of leaf skeletonizer moths..
http://bugguide.net/node/view/155100#205755
also would you like some photos of the sequoie sphinx larve, or a nice shot of elegant sphinx larve , ash sphinx  for your sphinx pages? if so let me know..
Edna

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillar, unknown species
November 1, 2009
We found this very large beautiful orange and blue caterpillar on the ground (dirt) next a wood pile in deep south Texas on November, 1. Weather is clear and temperature is about 70 degrees. Can you tell us if this becoimes a moth and if so what type? There are very large brown moths in this area this time of the year. We no nothing of their species, etc.
Floyd Woods
Mission, TX

Ficus Sphinx Caterpillar

Ficus Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Floyd,
This is the caterpillar of the Fig Sphinx, Pachylia ficus.  We suspect there is a fig tree nearby and that the Fig Sphinx Caterpillar has spent the season feeding on the leaves, unnoticed.  It has left the tree to burrow underground where it will pupate.  The adult moths are streamlined creatures with olive brown upper wings and striped underwings.  You can see images of the adult moth on Bill Oehlke’s wonderful website.  We love the photo showing the tiny horn.  Sphinx Caterpillars are often called Hornworms, and the Ficus Sphinx has a tiny horn as the family characteristic goes.

Ficus Sphinx Caterpillar

Ficus Sphinx Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

big shiny beetle
November 1, 2009
I found this guy wandering across my office floor this morning (November 1st). I live in Hampton Bays, NY (East End of Long Island). It’s been steadily cooler weather, but we haven’t seen a frost (or been close) yet. He’s about an inch & a half long – the nail in the photo is a good reference. I scooped him up and put him outside for the photo shoot. Thoughts?
Dawn L
Hampton Bays, NY

Fiery Searcher

Forest Caterpillar Hunter

Hi Dawn,
What a positively gorgeous specimen of the Caterpillar Hunter commonly called a Fiery Searcher, Calosoma scrutator.  The reds and golds on your specimen are much more pronounced than in most individuals.  They are known to climb trees in search of caterpillars, and though the typical life cycle is one year, adults may overwinter and are reported to survive as long as three years.  You may get additional information on BugGuide.  The Fiery Searcher is one of the predators we plan to profile in the book we are attempting to complete.

Fiery Searcher

Forest Caterpillar Hunter

How interesting!!  Let me know if you want to use the photos for the book – I have others of her, as well as an AMAZING set of photos of a black widow with her egg sac!  You have a wonderful website, and I rely on it all the time for bug id.  It somehow makes them less scary when you know what they are and learn about them…
Thanks!
Dawn

Thanks for the offer Dawn, but since our book is not an identification guide, we will not be using photographs which will make the publication cost prohibitive.  We will be using old entomological drawings as a more decorative means of illustrating the book.

Update
WE received a comment that corrected this identification as the imported Forest Caterpillar Hunter,
Calosoma sycophanta, and according to BugGuide:  “native to w. Palaearctic (east to Siberia)(1); introduced intentionally and established in e.US (so.ME-MD-WV-w.PA) Introduced in 1905 to control Lymantria dispar and Euproctis chrysorrhoea.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination