From the monthly archives: "January 2013"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Goa, India
January 28, 2013 11:48 am
I took this picture in Goa, India. It’s body is about 5 cm. Do you know the name of it.
Kind Regards,
Alfons (Netherlands)
Signature: Alfons

Mango Stem Borer

Hi Alforns,
Your Longhorned Borer Beetle is
Batocera rufomaculata, the Mango Stem Borer.  It can be especially troublesome on plantations where its hosts plants are grown.  Even native insects can become serious agricultural pests because farms and plantations do not generally have much plant diversity.  An insect that feeds on a particular plant has a ready food source and the infestation can spread from one tree or plant to the next quite easily.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Pietermaritzburg [South Africa]
January 28, 2013 7:46 am
I found this eating a plant in my garden at the weekend. Can you help me identify it? I think it’s a locust or grasshopper.
Thanks
Signature: Sally

Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper

Hi Sally,
This is a Grasshopper in the family Pyrgomorphidae, a group sometimes called the Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers because many family members feed on milkweed and they are able to retain toxic compounds in their bodies that act as a deterrent to predators.  Many Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers also have aposomatic or warning coloration.  The striped antennae and cobalt blue markings near the base of the legs are distinctive and we will attempt to find a species name for you.  We have not seen any examples with this much black in the coloration and we are not certain if this is a subspecies, an example of individual variation or a new species for our site.

Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper

Hi,
Thanks for your swift response. It will be interesting to see if you come up with a species!  I hope it was of interest to you.
Regards
Sally Wood

They are lovely photos of a beautiful Grasshopper and we are happy to include them in our archive.

Update:  January 20, 2015
We now believe this individual is a female
Maura rubroornata based on this image posted to iSpot.  Here is another image from iSpot.  There are images of mounted specimens on Orthoptera Species File, and there appear to be significant variations in the markings of this species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider with Fangs??
Location: New Zealand
January 27, 2013 5:07 pm
My friends and i spotted this scary looking spider on a tree whilst we were cycling round Lake Matheson on New Zealands south island. it seemed to have ’fangs’ and two long antenna things protruding from its head.
Any information would be grrrreat! thanks!
Signature: Matthew Toothill

Harvestman

Dear Matthew,
Thank you so much for submitting these photos of an interesting Harvestman or Daddy-Long-Legs.  Like Spiders, Harvestmen are Arachnids, but they are classified in the order Opiliones.  While spiders are predators, Opiliones are generally thought of as scavengers and they do not have venom.  Your individual has some unusual traits including the vertical appendages near the head.  We found an image of an unidentified species listed as a “forest species from Kaimanawa” on the Landcare Research of New Zealand website.  We then discovered a SciBlogs site called The Atavism that has some marvelous photos of what appears to be the same species.  It is identified as
Pantopsalis albipalpis with the identification credit going to Christopher Taylor.  The Atavism supplies this information:  “Ordinarily an animal that appears to have crawled out of the pages of The War of the Worlds would be more than enough for a post here, but those spindly legs are as nothing when you compare them to the crane-like appendages growing from his head.  Amazingly, those are his jaws, or at least his chelicerae. Arachnids have two sets of limbs associated with their heads, the pedipalps (which spiders use almost like legs, and, in males to deliver sperm if you can imagine such a dual-purpose organ) and the chelicerae which are used to grasp prey and direct it toward the mouth (arachnids don’t have chewing mouth-parts like many other arthropods).
Females from Pantopsalis and the related genus Megalopsalis have more or less normal chelicerae which point downwards, let their owners shuffle food towards their mouth and do very little else. As you can see, males are built a little differently. In fact, those massive hinged jaws are so different than the female form that males and females have frequently been mistaken for different species. Even within males, several species have two distinct forms; one with relatively low abd broad chelicerae and another with tall slender chompers.”  Christopher Taylor’s paper New Zealand harvestmen of the subfamily Megalopsalidinae (Opiliones: Monoscutidae) – the genus Pantopsalis can be found here on the New Zealand Government website tepapa.  We will attempt to contact Christopher Taylor to see if a species identification is possible based on your photos.  The species name cited in the SciBlogs posting,
P. albipalpis, alludes to the color white on the palps, if our Latin is correct, yet those images do not show white.  Your image does show an individual with white chelicerae.

Harvestman

Christopher Taylor provides some input
Hi Daniel,
Yes, this is the correct e-mail address. Thanks for contacting me. As
regards the animal in the photo, I suspect that it may be _Forsteropsalis_
rather than _Pantopsalis_, but it’s difficult to be sure. The two genera are
closely related and confidently distinguishing them often requires looking
at small features that are difficult to see in photographs. _Forsteropsalis_
species can be larger and more robust than _Pantopsalis_, but not always. I
can’t identify the species, sorry. Coming from that part of the South
Island, it could quite possibly be one that hasn’t yet been described.
Cheers,
Christopher Taylor

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge Bolivian Fairy Bug
Location: Bolivia
January 27, 2013 8:13 am
This Bug was found in the Amboro national park in Bolivia and I need to know what it is. People there called it ’the Fairy’. Length about 12-15 cm.
Thank you
Signature: Kathrin

Female Dobsonfly

Dear Kathrin,
This is a female Dobsonfly, and though we are quite certain it is a different species, we do have Dobsonflies in North America.  The male Dobsonfly is a fierce looking though perfectly harmless creature.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Torymid infestation
Location: Michigan
January 25, 2013 1:06 pm
NOTE: RESUBMITTED WITH ACTUAL PHOTO – SORRY, NO MACRO LENS
We started noticing these small insects in a few windows around our house. They looked much like flying ants but had an ovipositor about 2/3 the length of their body. After some research the only thing that seemed to matched their size (1-3mm) and description were torymid wasps.
The strange thing is that it’s the dead of winter here and I have no idea where these originated or keep coming from. We’ve probably seen 50-100 typically located around windows.
My thoughts are they may have come from a very warm day a few weeks ago (60 deg F). The other options would be coming in on something or from our live Christmas tree this year.
Any thoughts and ideas for getting rid of them would be appreciated. I don’t care nearly as much as my wife does. She’s not excited when outnumbered by critters.
Signature: Stephan

Probably Torymid

Hi Stephan,
We agree that this looks very much like the images of Torymids that are pictured on BugGuide.  Torymids are considered Parasitic Hymenopterans and they are classified with the Chalcid Wasps.  We did some research and we believe we might have found the source of the “invasion” and we believe it will most likely end soon.  According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service website page on Torymids:  “Torymids have a wide host range with both plant and insect eating species.”  The site also states:  “Megastigmine torymids, in the New World, are entirely phytophagous, mostly within rosaceous and coniferous seeds. The major plant genera known to host these wasps are Abies, Cedrus, Chamaecyparis, Ilex, Juniperus, Larix, Picea, Pseudotsuga, Tsuga, Amelanchier, Rosa, and Pistacia (an introduced species) (Milliron 1949, Grissell 1989).”  The first mentions genus
Abies is comprised of fir trees according to the Free Online Dictionary, and fir trees are common Christmas trees.  We believe you were correct in suspecting this Torymid invasion is related to the Christmas tree.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Which moth is this?
Location: Boca Tapada, Costa Rica
January 26, 2013 9:22 am
Dear sir,
I found this moth in Costa Rica a few weeks a go, in Boca Tapada, in a lagoon, on a brench. What is it and is it common or rare? Thank you very much in advance !!!!
Signature: M. Van Schaik

Banded Sphinx

Dear M. Van Schaik,
This is a Banded Sphinx Moth,
Eumorpha fasciatus.  It is a wide ranging species that can be found in North America as well as in Argentina.  See the Sphingidae of the Americas for additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination