From the monthly archives: "November 2010"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note: December 1, 2010
Since summer is approaching in the Southern Hemisphere, we are beginning to get more identification requests from Australia.  There are many different species of Cicadas in Australia and they are given very unusual common names.  We hope that we receive numerous photographs of Australian Cicadas this year and hopefully, making this Green Grocer that was sent in about a week ago the Bug of the Moth will encourage other submissions of Cicadas.

Large Green Flying Insect
Location: Ascot Vale, Melbourne
November 22, 2010 11:49 pm
Can you please help me identify this fly found in my sister’s garden? It was bigger than my thumb and quite fat.
Signature: LC

Green Grocer Cicada

Dear LC,
You have netted a Green Grocer Cicada,
Cyclochila australasiae, one of many species of Cicada found in Australia that have fascinating and colorful common names.  According to Oz Animals:  “The Green Grocer Cicada is a common cicada along eastern Australia. It has a loud high pitched call and is one of the loudest insects in the world. The most common form is green, and another fairly common form is the yellow form (the Yellow Monday). Less common colour variations are dark tan (Chocolate Soldier) and turquoise blue (Blue Moon). Most forms have red eyes, although the Blue Form has purple blue eyes. The Masked Devil is an orange brown form with a black mask across the eyes that is more common at higher altitudes.”  Now that winter is fast approaching in North America, our northern hemisphere identification requests are tapering off, but each year at this time, we get numerous requests from Australia and other southern hemisphere locations.  Your letter is the first Cicada image from Australia this season.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Erinnyis ello dark form ?
Location: Naples, FL
November 22, 2010 11:54 pm
I knew something was eating the leaves on the papaya but I could not see anything during the day. I found this specimen munching on my papaya at 10 PM on 11/22/10. Temperature was 70 F. I think it is a Erinnyis ello dark form but could it be a Erinnyis alope dark form?
Thank you.
Signature: Robert

Probably Alope Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Robert,
Your Sphinx does look very much like the dark Ello Sphinx Caterpillar on the Sphingidae of the Americas website as well as resembling an image posted to BugGuide.  It feeding on papaya is further evidence that the identification is correct.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas website, the caterpillar of
Erynnyis alope looks quite similar and also feeds on Papaya, but it is not as common in Florida.  We will check with Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide a conclusive identification.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for you reply.  I have a large “Orange Jasmine” bush that flowers often and profusely. This brings in lots of flying insects and the flying insects attract tropical orb spiders.
I have attached some photos.  You may use any of the photos I have sent to you, my compliments.  If there are numbers in the file name they are the year, month, day.
I live on eight acres, about 8 miles east of Naples, FL.
Robert Lenahan

Hi Robert,
We just heard back from Bill Oehlke and he believes your caterpillar is probably
Erinnyis alope.  We will probably be posting your image of the unidentified Sphinx Moth as soon as we identify it.

Bill Oehlke Responds
Most likely alope if found on papaya.
Although I also list papaya as a host for ello, Tuttle indicates ello is most often found on poinsettia while alope is most often found on papaya.
Bill Oehlke

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: Bukidnon, Philippines
November 22, 2010 7:45 pm
helo Mr. Bugman,
I had this cute creature inside the caves during our summer trip.
Can you name this one?
Signature: mae

Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear Mae,
We don’t often get requests to identify Tailless Whipscorpions that include the word “cute” in the description.  Your request is quite refreshing.  Tailless Whipscorpions are found in many parts of the world that have warm climates.  They are harmless as they have no venom.  They are predatory, nocturnal hunters.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

beetle found in costa rica
Location: Costa Rica
November 21, 2010 4:53 pm
these beetles were seen in Costa Rica but we have been unable to identify them.
Pleeeeeese help as it is driving us mad.
Signature: Mrs G Dyer

Mesquite Bug Nymphs from Costa Rica

Dear Mrs G Dyer,
These are not beetles, but rather, immature Leaf Footed Bugs in the genus
Thasus.  The Giant Mesquite Bug, Thasus neocalifornicus, that is found in the Southwest portion of North America is very similar.  We posted a similar photo from Mexico recently, and that posting has much information.  According to BugGuide:  “Dr. James Hogue (Cal State Northridge) pointed out that this genus has been revised (please see references below; HW). T. acutangulus is present only in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize (formerly British Honduras), and Costa Rica. The records from the United States are misidentifications (per Brailovsky, Schaefer, et al. 1994; see reference below – HW)   T. neocalifornicus is the only species of this genus that occurs in the U.S.A.  It is close to T. gigas from Mexico, and T. acutangulus (see distribution notes above).

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider wearing a tiki mask?
Location: Bastrop, Texas
November 22, 2010 8:58 am
Came across this spider while hiking through central TX.
We have never seen anything like it, of course it peaked our interest as to what it was? So we’re sendng it your way!
Signature: The Wroblewski’s

Spinybacked Orbweaver

Dear Wroblewskis,
During the autumn season, we get numerous requests to identify many different species of harmless Orbweaver Spiders because they have matured and reached maximum size, making them highly visible.  Additionally, Orbweaver Spiders often have bright colors and dramatic markings.  Your Orbweaver is a Spinybacked Orbweaver, Gasteracantha cancriformis, and though it is considerably smaller than other Orbweavers like the members of the genera Argiope and Araneus, it is still a stunning spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Scorpionfly in active hunting sequence

Hangingfly captures Bug

Scorpionfly in active hunting sequence
November 22, 2010
Location:  Australia
Hi Daniel,
Because of the file size and the hassles I am having with my net connection lately I thought I would email this sequence to you rather than try and use the form. Yesterday I spotted a male trying to wrestle a large moth free of its grip but by the time I got the camera the moth had escaped it. Today I found this one making strenuous efforts to get this true bug nymph free from its grip on a grass stem. It took a while but eventually it managed to pry all its feet loose and fly off with it. I didn’t realise they were active hunters as well as ambush predators.
Feel free to slice up the image or use it whole if you want.

Hangingfly Captures Bug

Hi Trevor,
Thanks for your continued documentation of this Australian species of Scorpionfly, known as a Hangingfly, as it hunts and mates.  For size consideration, we did split up your montage, and six parts might have been preferable to three parts, but we were interested in the time constraint that would entail.  Clicking on the image will produce an enlarged version.

Hangingfly Captures Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination