From the monthly archives: "February 2011"

Spider Wasp vs Garden Spider
Location: Central Arkansas
February 7, 2011 12:59 am
I saw where you thought it was odd that a Spider Wasp would hunt a Garden Spider. Thought I’d throw you a little of my own ”evidence”!
Taken in Central Arkansas, btw.
Signature: Alan D Tetkoskie

Blue Black Spider Wasp preys upon Orbweaver

Hi Alan,
Thanks so much for sending your photo.  Our statement was based upon information posted on BugGuide and not upon any research in books.  Scientific theories are based upon observations, and the camera has provided a marvelous tool to assist in observation and the gathering of data.  It would be interesting to determine if certain species in the Blue Black Spider Wasp genus
Anoplius have a preference for Orbweavers.  When one clicks upon the browse button while on the Anoplius genus page on BugGuide, instead of getting the choice of species, one gets the choice of subgenera, and only upon browsing the individual subgenera do actual species come up.  Perhaps an expert in the field will be able to provide us with a comment the clarify if any of the species in the genus Anoplius have evolved a set of spider hunting skills that enable them to specialize in hunting Orbweavers.  Thanks again for sending us your documentation.

Correction:  September 2, 2013
A comment from Nick indicates this is most likely
Poecilopompilus algidus which is pictured on BugGuide.

Can you tell me what this is?
Location: Australia, NSW, Western Sydney area.
February 5, 2011 11:22 pm
Hi bugman, I found this bug in my laundry about 2 weeks ago. I put it into a bug-catcher to get it out of my laundry and so that I could let my son have a good look at it and then I was going to let it go. It was dead when I got up the next morning and looked like this (see photos). It is summer here at the moment and been particularly warm between 36-40 degrees centigrade/celcius. I hope you can help. I thank you in advance 🙂
Signature: Not sure what this means?

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Not sure what this means?
This sure appears to be a Cuckoo Wasp, possibly the Large Cuckoo Wasp,
Stilbum cyanurum, which we located on the Brisbane Insect website.  According to the Brisbane Insect website:  “The adult Cuckoo Wasp’s back is well armored and with abdomen concave beneath. When disturbed, it curl up into a ball. This is a defense behavior against the attack by angry nest host.”  Perhaps your individual rolled into a ball in self defense before it died.  Though it was not intentional on your part, keeping an insect in a confined container and then finding it dead might constitute Unnecessary Carnage.

Sydney bee or fly
Location: Warrawee, Sydney, Australia
February 4, 2011 11:15 pm
Can you identify this bee or fly. A number of them appeared in my garden in Warrawee (Sydney, Australia)a few days ago. They congregate on or under bush leaves with some shade from the summer sun.
I’ve checked the native bee site and it doesn’t appear there.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Signature: Mike Warren

Native Drone Fly

Hi Mike,
Probably so it will not be confused with the introduced European Drone Fly,
Eristalis tenax, your species which we identified on the Brisbane Insect Website, Eristalinus punctulatus, is referred to as the Native Drone Fly.  According to Oz Animals:  “The Native Drone Fly is a brightly coloured hover fly with large strange spotted eyes. The body is black and orange striped. They have a hovering flight and make a droning noise like a bee, hence the common name.”  The common name Native Drone Fly might create confusion in places other than Australia.

Native Drone Fly

Many thanks, I saw the Brisbane Insect Website but couldn’t find a matching photo.  It is definitely the one, with very distinctive markings.  So I guess I don’t need to worry about a swarm or think about honey!!  Given the very warm weather, they may have been seeking moisture and shade from the heat wave conditions we had last week.  It’s cooled down now, so will be interesting to see if they stay around.
Many thanks for your help with identification.
Mike Warren

Lantern bug from Peru
Location: Shima, near Satipo, Junin, Peru
February 5, 2011 2:47 pm
Can you please help me to identify this lantern bug found in central Peru?
Signature: Peter Bruce-Jones

Lantern Bug

Hi Peter,
The Planthopper Superfamily Fulgoroidea includes the Lanternflies, but we are not certain if your individual is in that family.  The Free-Living Hemipterans are a real taxonomic challenge.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply a species identification for you.

Lantern Bug

Identification Courtesy of Karl
Hi Daniel and Peter:
It’s a classic case of misdirection. The relatively large false eye at the rear end and the tapered head give the impression that the bug is facing in the opposite direction. With luck, a would-be predator will attack the wrong end allowing the bug to escape in the opposite direction.  The aptly named False-eye Lantern Bug (Fulgoridae: Odontoptera carrenoi) ranges from Central America to Amazonia, Regards. Karl

Treehopper from Peru
Location: Shima, near Satipo, Junin, Peru
February 5, 2011 2:43 pm
Can anyone please identify this treehopper found in central Peru?
Signature: Peter Bruce-Jones


Hi Peter,
This is one beautiful Treehopper in the family Membracidae.  We have a vague memory of having received an image of this species, or a very similar species, in the past.  We will attempt to search our archive to provide a species identification.  Just a note that if you provide a comment on this posting, you will be notified in the future if anyone comments or provides an identification.  We did locate a matching photo on Corbis Images, but the species is not identified.

Unknown bugs
Location: Rio Pindayo, near Curimana, Ucayali, Peru
February 5, 2011 2:51 am
Can anyone please help to identify these bugs seen in Peru?
Signature: Peter Bruce-Jones


Hi Peter,
We believe that these are Treehoppers in the family Membracidae, though we would not rule out that they are Free Living Hemipterans in another family.  We will work more on a species identification for you.  It appears as though the individual in the upper left corner is giving live birth to a nymph.  Many Hemipterans, including Aphids, are able to reproduce asexually, with females producing genetic clones of themselves without the need for a male of the species.