From the monthly archives: "February 2010"

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February 2, 2010
What kind of mantis is this?
I found this mantis(I presume) on the livingroom floor in Brasil. Can you tell me what kind it is?

Brazilian Stick Mantis

I’ve put it on a branch to take a beter picture without noticing that there was another mantis on it allready(I only found out when I looked at the pics on the computer). I hope they didn’t eat eachother…
Paracuru, Brasil

Brazilian Stick Mantis

Hi Pieter,
We are very happy we wrote back to you and were able to guide you into uploading your images.  Upon viewing your photos, we were struck by the visual similarities to Brunner’s Mantis from Texas, an unusual species is a race of females that reproduces parthenogenically, without the need for insemination by a male.  The closest relatives are in South America.  We believe this might be the Brazilian Stick Mantis, Brunneria brasiliensis, though we have no images to verify that identification.  According to BugGuide, Brunner’s Mantis can be identified by:  “distinctive fine serations along sides of thorax …. Thick antennal base characterizes this species. Wings reduced–flightless.
Your specimen appears to have the fine serrations along the thorax, and the wings are similar to the Brunner’s Mantis images on BugGuide.  The EyePlorer website indicates “Brunneria brasiliensis, common name Brazilian Stick Mantis, is a species of praying mantis found in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay” but credits Wikipedia with the information.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to confirm this information and identification.

Brazilian Stick Mantis

Largest Furry Moth I have ever seen!!
February 2, 2010
Hi bugman, we found this very large moth on our house this morning – Near Wellington, New Zealand.
He was approx 15cm wing span with beautiful colourful brown/green and even pink markings but a little too furry for my likings. Sorry its not the best photo, I did not like to get too close to it 🙂
We have some swan plants in our back garden with Monarch Butterfly eggs and caterpillars, so we are very proud of our bugs!!
Shona (mum), Charlie & Teddy
Paremata, Wellington, New Zealand

Emperor Gum Moth

Hi Shona, Charlie and Teddy,
This gorgeous moth is an Emperor Gum Moth, Opodiphthera eucalypti.  As you can see from the images on the Csiro Entomology site for Australia, there are many variations.  It is an introduced species in New Zealand.

What bug is unseen to the eyes that invade?
February 2, 2010
What kind of bug bites hard, leaves whelpes, like a rash, but can’t be seen?
Not scappies! I thought dust mites but be treated for that and still have the problem. We thought flees, but have seen none! it’s at night when they attack, we thought maybe a nat or something.
Can you help me? DeAnn
los angeles

No-See-Ums, seriously.

Oh my God!  I first thought you were make’s fun of me, then I discover there really is a bug call no-see-ums, lol…  Thanks!

Trapdoor Spider with Young?
January 31, 2010
Tearing down a shed in South Goergia I found her with hatchlings. I laid a quarter down next to her for scale. She looked a lot more impressive with he legs stetched out, but still a cool speciman.
Wild Man
South Georgia

Southern House Spider with Spiderlings

Dear Wild Man,
This looks to us like a Southern House Spider, Kukulcania hibernalis, one of the Crevice Weaver Spiders.  According to BugGuide:  “Females are frequently mistaken for small tarantulas or trapdoor spiders. Males are often mistaken for recluse spiders (Loxosceles). This is a totally harmless species that builds ‘messy’ webs emanating from crevices, often on the outside of homes.
Your photo nicely illustrates the maternal care many spiders exhibit toward their spiderlings.

Insect eating leaves of potatoes
February 1, 2010
Hi –
I have this infectation of hairy 6 legged bugs eating my potato leaves. At first I thought it was a woolie aphid but they aren’t. The are about 2mm wide and about 5mm long and there are masses of them all over the back of my potato leaves. However this is the only plant in the vegie patch they seem to have taken a liking too. To me they look like a hairy what & black caterpillar but when you rool them over they only have 6 legs. I have sprayed the potato leave with white oil which seems to be killing them but I would really like to know what they are.
Australia, NSW, Ulladulla on the south eastern coast.

28 Spotted Potato Ladybird Larva

Dear JLO,
Most Lady Beetles in the family Coccinellidae are beneficial predators, with both adults and larvae consuming insects that are detrimental to plants, including many crops, but alas, your larvae are 28 Spotted Potato Ladybird Beetles, Epilachna vigintioctopunctata, one of the few plant pests.  The Brisbane Insect Website has a wonderful page on this species.  You may also find information on the Butterfly House website where it is called the 28 Spot Ladybird.