From the daily archives: "Thursday, December 12, 2013"

Subject: Kissing beetle or Asassin bug maybe?
Location: Singapore
December 12, 2013 5:49 am
Just found this at my home in Singapore
Signature: James

Weevil

Red Palm Weevil

Dear James,
This is not a Kissing Bug or Assassin Bug.  It is a beetle known as a Weevil and we will attempt to determine a species identification for you.  Many Weevils are agricultural pests and they will not bite humans.  It looks like a Red Palm Weevil,
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, based on a photo posted to the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research.  This variably colored species is represented in our archives, and after stating to you they would not bite, we found a letter indicating a person was bitten by a Red Palm Weevil in Cyprus.

Many thanks J
My 5 year old son was very excited to have his picture posted on your web site and to get your answer explaining what it was and that it could be dangerous (I think he was a little disappointed it was not venomous like all the snakes and spiders he is very much into from watching many youtube videos of the most deadly )
Many thanks once again and keep up the good work with the web site J
James

Subject: My Baja Roomate
Location: La Ventana, Baja California Sur, Mexico
December 11, 2013 9:47 pm
I’m guessing from your other photos that this may be a female Huntsman spider. The location is La Ventana, Baja California Sur. If she indeed kills cockroaches, maybe we should let her stay. Is she poisonous?
Signature: Stacey

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Dear Stacey,
This is indeed a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider, probably in the genus
Olios.  Most all spiders have venom, but very few are considered dangerous to humans.  This Huntsman Spider poses no threat to you.  It is doubtful that you will be bitten if you allow the spider to cohabitate with you, but a bite may occur if you carelessly handle the spider.  Female Spiders defending eggs can get aggressive.

Subject: Caught during fishing
Location: Brunei darussalam – river
December 12, 2013 4:09 am
Someone send me this photo, his friend caught it while fishing, i wonder what it is?
Signature: Hazwan

That's That Bug???

That’s That Bug???

Dear Hazwan,
We don’t even know where to begin to classify this thing.  We hope you are able to provide additional information.  How large was this thing?  Was it caught with a net or a fishing pole?  Are there any additional photos showing the underside?  Perhaps one of our readers can assist with this identification.  We did need to research your location, and we have learned on InfoPlease that Brunei is a small country on the north coast of Borneo.

Subject: Euro Version Butterfly — Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Location: Porto, Portugal
December 11, 2013 11:44 am
Saw your posts about the Swallowtail chasing in Mt. Washington this year and thought to share the ones I was seeing in Portugal. I loved them because they are so similar to the Oregon ones I am used to seeing (but they are still so enchanting). The Euro version flits through the city especially the parks where it perches in trees and all but disappears despite their showy colors. Remarkable.
Pics were taken in April and May.
Signature: Curious Girl

Old World Swallowtail

Old World Swallowtail

Dear Curious Girl,
Thanks for sending us your lovely photos of the Old World Swallowtail in its native habitat.

Old World Swallowtail

Old World Swallowtail

Subject: Moth Identification
Location: Barrington Tops, NSW
December 11, 2013 3:04 pm
My wife and I were camping recently near Barrington Tops NSW and came across an enormous moth which we would like to identify.
The moth was quite docile and as it had landed on a temporary structure which was about to be taken down my wife carefully picked it up and we moved it to a nearby tree. The moth’s abdomen was pumping and it appeared to be about to lay eggs, it was quite heavy according to my wife.
Signature: Happy Camper

Giant Wood Moth

Giant Wood Moth

Dear Happy Camper,
We believe your moth is in the family Cossidae, the Wood Moths or Miller Moths, and we believe your individual is the Giant Wood Moth,
Endoxyla cinereus, which has the distinction, according to the Australian Museum website, of being “the heaviest moth in the world, with some females weighing up to 30 grams.”  The Australian Museum elaborates on the life cycle:  “The larvae of some species of wood moths are better known as witchetty grubs and bore into smooth-barked eucalypt trees. As they grow, the tunnels left behind in the bark increase in width. They may spend up to one year within the tree before emerging as moths. The newly emerged, small caterpillars lower themselves to the ground on silky threads where they are thought to feed on plant roots. As adults they are unable to feed and only live for a few days. The heavy females lay about 20,000 tiny eggs before dying.”  Csiro also has a photo of the Giant Wood Moth.  The distinctive striped legs are evident in the photo of the living specimen posted to Butterfly House which states:  “The adult moths have a variable vague pattern of light and dark grey or brown on the wings, including a darker spot near the middle of each forewing. The forewings each have a sinusoidal inner margin, and the hindwings a convex inner margin. The moths are very large. The females are larger than the males, and have a wingspan up to 23 cms.”  The family page on Butterfly House notes that caterpillars of moths in this family are wood borers known as Witchetty Grubs.  Witchetty Grubs are edible.

Giant Wood Moth

Giant Wood Moth

Hi Daniel,
Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my query and for providing such a wealth of information.
Happy Holidays!
Curtis & Ingrid Brager