From the daily archives: "Thursday, December 26, 2013"

Subject: what kind of bug is this
Location: columbus ohio
December 26, 2013 5:47 pm
Found this bug in my house, 12/26 in ohio…its freezing outside haven’t seen any sig of bug life so to find one inside puzzled me! What type of bug is this? Should I be concerned that there are more? It looks fire antish- I grew up in the south that was my first guess, never seen/noticed anything like it before in OH.
Thanks for any feedback!
Signature: M

Flightless Ichneumon

Flightless Ichneumon

Dear M,
We believe this is a flightless Ichneumon in the genus
Gelis.  Ichneumons are parasitic wasps that prey on a variety of insects and arthropods, though many Ichneumons are host specific.

Subject: Bug found on Interior Wall..
Location: Connecticut
December 25, 2013 8:49 am
Never seen a bug crawling up my wall, pretty quick bugger too! Any way you can identify this? Trying to figure out where it came from and how.
Thank you
Signature: CB

Immature Cockroach

Brownbanded Cockroach

Hi CB,
This is an immature Cockroach, and we suspect if you have one, there are surely more.

Update:  December 16, 2014
We received a comment that this is a female Brownbanded Cockroach,
Supella longipalpa, and more information on the Brownbanded Cockroach can be found on the Penn State Entomology site where it states:  “Brownbanded cockroaches prefer warm and dry locations, such as near refrigerator motor housings, on the upper walls of cabinets, and inside pantries, closets, dressers, and furniture in general. They can also be found behind picture frames and beneath tables and chairs, and inside clocks, radios, light switch plates, doorframes, and dressers. It is common to find them hiding nearer the ceiling than the floor and away from water sources. Accurate identification is paramount to controlling brownbanded cockroaches. Control strategies for other cockroaches will not be efficacious for brownbanded cockroaches.”

Subject: Possible Deaths Head Hawk Moth?
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
December 26, 2013 12:08 am
I found this moth last night after investigating a very loud screeching sound in my house. Turns out that it was this moth. Looks similar to a Deaths Head Hawk Moth, but not sure as markings seem different from what I have seen online.
Your views?
Signature: Ryan


Cicada:  Is this the newly discovered species????

Hi Ryan,
This is not a moth, but rather, a Cicada.  Cicadas are capable of making sounds which would explain the loud screeching you heard.  We typically see photos of Cicadas with clear wings, so this individual with its forewing markings (that do resemble the wings of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth) and brightly colored underwings is quite distinctive.  We did not think it would be difficult to identify to the species level, and we did find matching images on the Photographs from South Africa website, however, the Cicada is not identified to the species level.  Continued research led us to a matching photo on the Wildlife Extra News site with the subject 18 New Species of Invertebrate Discovered in South Africa.  The photo is captioned:  “A cicada currently in the process of being named and described. Photo credit Earthwatch.”  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to find more current information on the name of this unusual Cicada.

Hi there,
Many thanks for the fast and informative response! Cicada was my second option, but didn’t think so due to the wings.
Very cool to experience something that unusual flying into my house twice on the same evening 🙂

Update:  Possibly Orange Wing Cicada
Thanks to a comment to this posting, we now believe this may be an Orange Wing Cicada in the genus Platypleura.  There are photos posted to ISpot that look very similar to the Orange Wing Cicada.

Subject: hairy Slater bug?
Location: Albany, western Australia
December 25, 2013 9:41 pm
I’ve got a bug about the size of a pinky finger nail on top of its eggs sitting beneath the hand rail of the verandah. It’s eggs are hairy as is the body of the animal. Very strange, its body shape looks like a cross between a Slater and a giant flea and the front half of a moth with its legs at the front near its nose.
Signature: here

Flightless Female Tussock Moth with Eggs

Flightless Female Tussock Moth with Eggs

We were struck by the resemblance between your photo and an image in our archive of a flightless female Western Tussock Moth with her egg mass, and we quickly learned that the genus Orgyia is represented in Australia as well.  Birds on the Brain pictures a flightless female Tussock Moth in the genus Orgyia, but she is not identified to the species level.  Butterfly House indicates that Orgyia australis is found in Australia, but does not even indicate that the female is flightless.  The Brisbane Insect website indicates the common name is the Painted Pine Moth and pictures a flightless female.  The Government of South Australia has an excellent pdf on the life cycle of Australian Tussock Moths.  Your photograph pictures a flightless female that has laid her eggs in and on the cocoon she emerged from.  Since she is flightless, she cannot move about in search of a mate, but since she releases a pheromone upon emergence, a winged male can locate her to mate.  The pdf states:  “On hatching, the female remains clinging to the outside of the cocoon where she mates and lays eggs. The eggs are laid in a mass amongst the hairs on the outside of the pupal cocoon. Each female may lay up to 700 eggs. The eggs hatch into tiny caterpillars which swarm over nearby twigs and needles.”

That’s fantastic and interesting! Thanks a lot, I’m so glad you got back to me! Hope you have a wonderful new year!