From the daily archives: "Tuesday, December 17, 2013"

Subject: Whats this Bug?
Location: Kloof, Durban, South Africa
December 17, 2013 12:53 am
Hi There,
I found this bug on a door frame the other day and was fascinated by it. Whilst trying to move it to safety, as the door could swing close, he / she flew away.
I live in Kloof, Durban, South Africa.
Signature: Richard Chivers

Longicorn

Longicorn

Dear Richard,
This is some species of Longicorn or Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae.  The extreme length of the antennae indicates that this is a male.  We will try to determine a species for you.

Longicorn

Longicorn

Re: Longicorn from South Africa – December 17, 2013
Hi Daniel and Richard:
I am not certain, but I believe your longicorn belongs in the genus Monochamus (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae:  Lamiini); probably M. spectabilis. This species is widely distributed throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara, as well as Madagascar. None of the online photos I could find were a perfect match, but variability is common, especially in widely distributed species. Here is an example from Tanzania. Perhaps the best match I found was from Madagascar (click on the second image). This last one shows the prominent ridges on the elytra that are evident in Richard’s first photo, but are not apparent in all the images I found. Perhaps this is a male characteristic. Regards. Karl

That looks like a pretty good match to us Karl.  Thanks so much.

 

Subject: What kind of wasp is this?
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
December 16, 2013 8:28 pm
Hello,
I found this in our backyard and was wondering exactly what it is and is it dangerous. We live in Adelaide, South Australia. Thanks.
Signature: Jacob

Ichneumon

Ichneumon

Hi Jacob,
This is some species of Ichneumon, a large and diverse group of parasitoid wasps that are not considered dangerous to humans.  The female uses her ovipositor, which is visible in your photo, to deposit her eggs, often directly into the body of the host insect or arthropod.  Most Ichneumons are very host specific, and the prey include many different orders, including butterflies and moths, true bugs and other wasps.  We hope to eventually determine a species identification for this unusual Ichneumon.

Subject: Pumpkin Spider?
Location: Southern California
December 16, 2013 9:47 am
Hello,
This photo was taken on 10/17/2013, in southern California at the base of Mount Baldy. Its body was about 3/4 of an inch long and 1/2 an inch high. The body had 4 dimples on the top and the legs were striped orange and white. I just found this site the other day and absolutely love it!!! I have so many pictures of insects that I have found and don’t know what they are so I will be on this site a lot in the near future. Anyhow I believe from looking over your site that this is an pumpkin spider/marbled orbweaver but I wanted to make sure. Thanks for your help
Signature: Newest/Biggest fan

Orbweaver

Orbweaver

Dear Newest/Biggest Fan,
We are happy you are enjoying our site.  While this Orbweaver is orange and is a member of the same family as the Pumpkin Spider, it is a different species of Orbweaver.  It might be a Cat Faced Spider,
Araneus gemmoides, but we cannot say for certain.  See images on BugGuide for comparison.  We look forward to getting additional images from you.

Subject: Mantis from Namibia
Location: Namibia
December 16, 2013 8:06 am
Oh yeah, I almost forgot this one.
Not one of the best photos, due to the dark. Unfortunately, I got only one shot.
I guess this is a curled up mantis-like creature. I like the horns next to the eyes.
Signature: Robert

Mantis from Namibia

Double-Coned Grass Mantid from Namibia

Hi Robert,
We have been trying to determine the identity of your Mantis, and because of the unusual horned eyes, we suspect it might be in the genus
Heterochaeta which is profiled on the USAMantis site.  Alan’s Arthropods also contains some images that show similar eyes as well as indicating that Heterochaeta occidentalis is found in “Botswana , Kenya, Namibia and South Africa”.

Update:  January 11, 2014
Dracus supplied a comment identifying this as
Episcopomantis chalybea, and we found a link to a drawing on Tree of Life that supports that ID.  There is an image of a Namibian female on World of Mantids.  A beautiful portrait by Piotr Naskrecki, who frequently assists us with Katydid identifications, can be found on National Geographic Creative, and it includes the common name Double-Coned Grass Mantid. 

Subject: Scary new species?!?
Location: South Texas Coastal Bend
December 16, 2013 9:47 pm
Found our cat Lucy playing with this interesting fellow. Nothing we’ve ever seen around here. Found here in the South Texas Coastal Bend just a couple of days ago. Looked somewhat cockroach in nature, the horns at the top of the head moved slightly. Did not try to fly, And i couldn’t really count the legs since Lucy had been playing with it, Not sure if she damaged it in anyway. An identification would be greatly appreciated. No one around here has seen anything it.
Signature: Mrs Garcia

Toe-Biter

Toe-Biter

Hello Mrs. Garcia,
Because of their large size and unusual appearance, Toe-Biters or Giant Water Bugs frequently attract attention.  They are also attracted to lights, which increases their visibility.  Giant Water Bugs are aquatic predators and they are not related to Cockroaches.  Handle with care as they might deliver a painful bite.

Subject: Yellow Black Beetle – South Africa
Location: 30k west of Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa
December 17, 2013 4:32 am
I would be very grateful if you could identify these beetles. I have not found any other images online which look like this. All the images were taken in November 2013. The third image is the bush the beetles were on. There were about 8 of them and they appeared to be mating.
Signature: David Smith

Mating Scarabs

Mating Fruit Chafers

Dear David,
We tried several times to identify your mating Scarab Beetles in the family Scarabaeidae, but our attempts were not successful.  Based on the positioning of the legs during mating, which resembles the position of Japanese Beetles mating, we suspect they might be in the same subfamily, which is Rutelinae, the Shining Leaf Chafers.  Knowing the plant they were feeding upon might help.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with an identification.

Mating Scarabs

Mating Fruit Chafers

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for the quick reply.
I think you are correct in saying it is Rutelinae, the Shining Leaf Chafers. When I googled that I found these images from Brazil which is obviously the South American version.
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/17020905
All the best,
Dave

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and David:
I believe these are Fruit Chafers (Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae) in the genus Anisorrhina. I found two potential candidates, A. sternalis and A. algoensis, and I suspect there may be more. Regards. Karl