From the monthly archives: "January 2011"

Big Bee / Wasp?
Location: Kalgoorlie Western Australia (Desert)
January 30, 2011 1:18 am
can u identify this thing? It was fouund at my hsbands work yesterday (Gold mine, Kalgoorlie Western Australia) after it stung / bit him, mild irritation went away quickly. I have tried to identify it withot success.
Signature: Sarah Ryan

Giant Robber Fly

Hi Sarah,
This is a Robber Fly in the family Asilidae.  Robber Flies are predators, and though they do not prey upon humans, they can bite if carelessly handled.  We searched the Insects of Brisbane website and we believe we have identified your specimen as a Giant Robber Fly,
Phellus olgae.

Ed. Note:  August 7, 2011
Please do not submit photos to our website that you do not have permission to use.  We do not tolerate copyright infringement.

Crazy Big Bug
Location: Killeen, TX
January 29, 2011 10:59 pm
Well I woke up to go to work one day aroung 5:30 am, and this bug was on the outside wall next to my door. This was back in November, it was pretty cold then so I was really surprised to see this guy just chillin on my wall.
Signature: X-Soldier

Jo Ann's photo returns to What's That Bug? Corydalus cornutus - Eastern Dobsonfly Male July 10 2008 Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania

Dear X-soldier,
That male Dobsonfly is sure a handful.  Though we are quite certain this image will give some of our website visitors nightmares, the male Dobsonfly is quite harmless as those incredible mandibles are useless for biting.  Though the female Dobsonfly is also harmless, her more utilitarian mandibles might deliver a painful pinch if she is carelessly handled.  The larvae of the Dobsonfly are known as Hellgrammites, and they are a favored bait for freshwater fishermen.

Hey Daniel, I really appreciate you getting back to me with this bug. When I told people about it no one believed me. Thanks again for the help!

Update:  August 7, 2011
We just learned today that the image that was submitted with this letter was not taken by X-soldier.  This image was taken by Jo Ann Poe-McGavin in 2008 and it was posted on the Pennsylvania Wild website.  At Jo Ann’s request, we have removed the image to avoid copyright infringement.  See the attached comments for additional information.

Copyright violation & log in
August 7, 2011 9:15 am
The Dobson Fly male photo on:
Posted by x-soldier was actually taken by me in 2008 and the copyright notice on the photo was removed-I have the original on file with the original EXIF data
I would like the senders information to inform them of copyright violation
also your website does not allow log in
The information was give to you was false as well. This photo was taken in 2008 in Pennsylvania.
Signature: Jo Ann Poe-McGavin

Dear Jo Ann,
We apologize for this copyright infringement.  We were not aware that the image was not taken by x-soldier.  For the record, we did not remove the copyright.  We are attaching the original file that we downloaded before we cropped and resized it.
The image will be immediately removed from What’s That Bug?  Should you decide to allow us to continue to keep the photo posted on our site, we will provide an editor’s comment explaining the situation and we will give you full credit as well as linking to your site.
We want to reiterate that we did not pilfer this image from your site and then remove the copyright information.  We do not know how x-soldier obtained the image.
Please advise.
Daniel Marlos, AKA the Bugman
P.S.  We will try to locate the contact information for X-soldier and forward it to you, but we often delete emails.

Dear Daniel
I’m not sure how this image was pilfered or when-except that it might have downloaded from it’s post on my Deviant Art account or PAWild (my website) and someone-not you-removed the copyright info-I’ve been finding this photo on many sites in this condition posted by numerous people and they provide false information. Each gives a different name and date when it was taken and where. Sigh…..
I don’t mind your site using it if the proper info is given. Credit, date, etc.  Corydalus cornutus – Eastern Dobsonfly Male July 10 2008 Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania
I am attaching the photo as it appears on my website and how it should be.
If you can’t find the info on the sender-that’s okay-more than likely they will deny everything-as usual.
Thanks for your time on this

Thanks Jo Ann,
We have returned the photo to the posting along with much of our dialog.

Dear Daniel
That’s just fine-and way more than I expected.
I apologize for not writing back sooner but due to someone calling with a Rattlesnake in their yard and a minor health problem-I wasn’t able to answer until now.
Thank-you for fixing it up.  :3

Hi Daniel,
I think you’re website is awesome-I have looked at it many times-especially while looking for the caterpillar that stung me-Saddlebacks and the like. I am also fascinated by the related species posted from other countries.
Just curious did the other one listed below come from the same IP? I’m not sure why someone would go through such trouble to post someone else’s photo and ask for information when most people can take their own photo. I get sent some pretty bad photos of snakes (and drawings-classic-I love them) but I can still ID them. Nothing people try to ID is worthless if they found it.
BTW-more than likely you’ll never hear from the poster again. If you do-I’d love to see what they post.
Again thanks!

Hi again Jo Ann,
Since our staff is divided between editorial and technical, and since we get such a large number of requests, the person who responds to the emails doesn’t really monitor the IP addresses.  We do have some frequent contributors though, but they submit their own photographs.  The monitoring of internet piracy can really become a fulltime job that our small staff does not have the luxury of employing.  We actually get our share of drawings and we try to post the most amusing ones.  That reminds us that we just received a drawing that we believe is a Robber Fly, and though we responded, we did not have the time to post it.  We may try to hunt that one down and do it now.  Had the internet been around before Daniel fled Youngstown, Ohio on the Pennsylvania border in the late 1970s, he probably would have been a frequent user of your site.



What’s this bug?
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
January 30, 2011 5:44 am
Hi, thanks for the website. I snapped this very large moth in my back yard in suburban Hobart, Tasmania, the coldest (and island) state of Australia. We are in the middle of summer and it was a warmish night of about 15 degrees celcius. I have not been able to find any information online about this moth except that it resembles many of the hepialidae family. I have seen one of a similar size in the bush but this sighting was a first around the city. Hobart is surrounded by mountains & bush so the wilderness is never very far away from suburbia.
Signature: Bug info

Wood Moth we believe

Dear Bug info,
Our first impression, because of the long narrow wings, was that this was a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, but after a brief moment, we revised our opinion in alignment with your speculation.  We agree that this interesting specimen resembles the Ghost Moths or Swift Moths in the family Hepialidae, but like you, we have not been able to find any matching images on Csiro which includes this wonderful Hepialidae slide show.  We could not find a match on the Moths of Australia Hepialidae page either.  We then researched our original impression, but there are no matching images on the Moths of Australia Sphingidae page either.

The large body of this specimen inclines us to believe it is a female full of eggs.  When Daniel was researching his book, The Curious World of Bugs, a Ghost Moth from Australia was discovered to hold the record for the most eggs laid by an insect that was not social since Ants, Bees and Termites can lay millions of eggs over the course of the queen’s life.  Here is that bit of information courtesy of the Book of Insect Records published online by the University of Florida:  “An Australian ghost moth, Trictena atripalpis (see Moths of Australia), is the insect with the highest recorded fecundity among nonsocial species. One female was reported to lay 29,100 eggs, and when dissected, 15,000 fully developed eggs were found in the ovaries.”  We remain puzzled by this identification and we hope a reader will come to our assistance.

Update with Identification
We just received three comments from a reader who supplied this link: of a Wood Moth that looks identical to this amazing creature.  When we finish preparing Beoff Bourgenon (or however you spell Beef Burgandy in French), we will update this posting better.

Unknown bug
Location: Slovenia, Ljubljana, Cellar
January 30, 2011 9:16 am
The bug seems like a nymph of some cricket but that is just my speculation.
It is approximately 1.5 cm in lenght.
It was found in a cellar of an apartment building during winter.
Hope you find the time to answer.
Signature: Nik Pečanac


Hi Nik,
Your suspicions that this is a Cricket are correct, and the undeveloped wings indicate that it is most likely an immature nymph.  The lack of an ovipositor indicates that this is a male, and we believe it is in the Field Cricket subfamily Gryllinae based on BugGuide imagery and that it is most likely the House Cricket,
Achetus domesticus, a species that is raised as food for many exotic pets like Tarantulas and Lizards.  Perhaps someone in the apartment building has a pet and this guy escaped being eaten.  Here is a nice online article on the House Cricket by Louise Kulzer.

Tiny green striped bug with puffed out tail
Location: Suburbs, Pretoria, South Africa
January 30, 2011 3:08 am
We’ve seen quite a lot of these in our back yard in Pretoria, South Africa. They are tiny, and their tails can puff out. They can jump quite far. They tend to be on their own (not in groups). Difficult to describe them, as you’ll see by the photos!
Signature: Sophia

Planthopper Nymph

Hi Sophia,
This is a Planthopper Nymph in the superfamily Fulgoroidea.  You can see many examples of North American Planthopper Nymphs by browsing through the images on BugGuide.  We were not able to find a close match on the Brisbane Insect Website, however, one unidentified Planthopper Nymph looks somewhat similar.

Strange cocoon
Location: Finland
January 25, 2011 5:15 pm
Hi there,
I found this strange bug cocoon underneath my fridge and am a bit worried that we’re about to be infested with an alien species. Can you tell me what it is?
Signature: Freaked Out

Mealworm Pupa

Dear Freaked Out,
This is a Beetle pupa, but we are uncertain of the species.

Thanks for replying so quickly. Once you wrote beetle I had a thought.. mealworms. I have baby newts here at the moment and was trying to feed them mealworms, and I reckon the cat got one and dragged it off and now it’s changing into it’s beetle state. Weird looking thing though isn’t it? Thanks for replying, much appreciated!