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

What’s this fly?
December 27, 2009
Came across this handsome fella while staying at a chalet in the Taman Negara rainforest in Malaysia. It was hanging around some fruit I had on the table. Pix were shot yesterday. (Dec 27)
I’m pretty certain it is of genus Drosophila. Would you happen to know the species?
Chan Lee Meng
Kelantan, Malaysia

Unknown Fruit Fly

Signal Fly

Dear Chan Lee Meng,
We disagree with your assessment that this handsome fly is in the genus Drosophila, but we do believe it is a Fruit Fly in the family Tephritidae.  We do not feel qualified to take the identification any further than the family level, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply an answer.

Unknown Fruit Fly

Signal Fly

Update:  March 30, 2014
A comment has directed us to this link and the correction that this is a Signal Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

next to Aphids
December 25, 2009
Hey, found these triangular green “leaf” bugs next to aphids. Are they good predators or bad adults? Thanks,
Kiloh
Southern California

Keeled Treehoppers

Keeled Treehoppers

Dear Kiloh,
These are adult Keeled Treehoppers, Antianthe expansa, a common garden pest in California and Arizona.  The adults and spiny nymphs, which we believe you may have mistaken for aphids, feed on tomato plants, pepper plants and other related solanaceous plants.  They feed by sucking the juices from the plants.  You can see some nice images on BugGuide.  While looking for potential links, we stumbled upon Vanessa cardui’s wonderful blog, Am I Bugging You Yet? that features bug sightings in and around Tustin, California.

Thanks! Other than a soap wash (or removing the plant) are there any other organic approaches to treating the problem?  PS you folks are great!!

Personally, we hand pick and squash them in our own garden, though they are a bit spiny.  Soapy water should work fine.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beetle,about 1 inch long, very dark with bright green markings
December 26, 2009
This eye-catching beetle crawled out of the mulch around a potted lime tree as I was watering the pot on Christmas day.
Irena
Sydney, Australia

Fiddler Beetle

Fiddler Beetle

Hi Irena,
We received so many images of Fiddler Beetles, Eupoecila australasiae, in early 2007 that we made it the Bug of the Month in February of that year.  It really is a distinctive beetle that is unlikely to be confused with any other species.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you very much !
And thank you for the great site.
Best wishes for 2010
Irena

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Very small bug found in my dog’s food hopper.
December 26, 2009
Dear Daniel and Lisa,
I went to feed my dog a few days ago and found many very small bugs in the food as well as larval stages and empty pupa casings. The larval stage are about 1/4 in. long. The bugs are a little larger than the dot pattern on a paper towel. That is what I photographed it on so that you could see the colors better. I am in central Florida. I do not think that the bugs came with the food as much as got into the hopper later ,which is in stored in the garage.
Mike Healy
Central Florida

Ornate Cabinet Beetle

Ornate Cabinet Beetle

Hi Mike,
We believe this is an Ornate Cabinet Beetle, Trogoderma ornatum, a species that frequently infests stored food.  It is sometimes called a Warehouse Beetle and is a member of the family Dermestidae that includes many household pests including Carpet Beetles.  These beetles can do great damage to museum collections including insect collections.  BugGuide has some nice images, and the Terminex page has some good information, though we doubt that using their extermination services will help in ridding a home of Cabinet Beetles.

Daniel,
Thanks so much for getting back to me. I figured that it was some sort of beetle, judging by the hard body. I tossed the remaining food, washed the food hopper and thoroughly cleaned the area beneath it. hopefully that will keep them at bay, if not, I will have to find a different storage area for the food.
Have a happy new year and congratulations on the first step of the book.
Mike Healy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Weird fly from the Philippines (2)
December 27, 2009
Dear Bugman,
What’s this bug?
I saw this guy on the outer wall of our house. At first I though it was some kind of assassin bug, but then I realized it must be some strange kind of fly! I had never seen its kind before.
Could you let me know what it is?… Thanks!
Kulisap
Luzon, Philippines

Unknown Fly

Cactus Fly

Dear Kulisap,
We do not recognize this fly and we will post its image in the hopes that one of our readers may be able to provide a response.  If you post a comment to the posting, you will be informed automatically if someone writes to us in the distant future.  Your photos are quite good, and we hope we get a proper identification, at least to the family level.

Unknown Fly

Cactus Fly

Update:  December 30, 2009
After some searching I think I was able to identify this critter… it seems to be a type of cactus fly (Neriidae).
I also found this link:
http://www.bonduriansky.net/neriidae.htm
Thanks again for the reply!
Kulisap

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

weird fly from the philippines (1)
December 27, 2009
Dear Bugman,
What is this bug?
It is very common in gardens. Its distinctive characteristic is that it constantly waves its two front legs around (white-tipped) as if engaging in semaphore.
It must be some kind of fly, but which one?
Thanks for the attention!
Kulisap
Luzon, Philippines

Stilt Legged Fly

Stilt Legged Fly

Dear Kulisap,
We tried doing a web search of “fly waves front legs” and came up with a cirrusimage page on the Stilt Legged Fly family Micropezidae that states:  “I would have called this the ‘semaphore’ fly, in that it constantly waves its front legs around as if signaling someone or something. Popular science has it they are mimicking ant or wasp antennae, but I’m not sold on that theory. Wasp antennae are jointed and “droop”  and certainly don’t wave about like this fly does.
”  According to BugGuide:  “Odd little flies, known for their displaying (?) behavior of walking around and lifting their prominently marked front legs. Abdomen attached to thorax by “wasp-waist”. Likely ant or wasp mimics. The posture of the forelegs may imitate ant and/or wasp antennae and provide them with some protection from predators.”  It is interesting that both you and the person who wrote the cirrusimage posting likened the behavior of the fly to semaphore.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination