From the monthly archives: "January 2015"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black Velvet Ant and ?
Location: Oldbury Western Australia
January 31, 2015 5:49 am
Hi again,
I could write to you just about every day asking about one bug or another, but I don’t like to BUG you too much! LOL… sorry… anyhow…
I’m pretty certain second pic of a wingless wasp is a Black Velvet Ant (seems like a dumb name when it’s not an ant), although I don’t know the exact species name.
I was mainly wondering, given the colour resemblance, if the first winged wasp is the male of the same species? They were both photographed on my property just south of Perth in Australia a day apart. If I am guessing wrong please correct me. Thanks. With appreciation,
Signature: Jill Wozhere

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Jill,
We believe your identification of a female, flightless Velvet Ant is correct, and your individual resembles the example from the genus
 Bothriomutilla that is posted on the Brisbane Insect website.  We do not believe the winged wasp is a male of the species, but we cannot provide an identification at this time.  Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps, and Ants and Wasps are actually members of the same order and the common name Velvet Ant refers to the resemblance and flightlessness of the female.

Wasp

Wasp

Thank you Daniel for your reply and the interesting information. Personally I still think they shouldn’t call it an ant if it isn’t actually an ant, but I won’t make a federal case out of it.  If you find out the species of the other wasp, please let me know.
Best regards,
Jill

Hi Daniel,
Further to the unidentified wasp in one of the previous pic I sent… I’m guessing now that it is a female spider wasp from the family Pompilidae.
I figure it’s a female, because I also found I had a pic *yes I took it and yes you’re welcome to have it, of mating wasps and with it being at the bottom, it just stands to reason it’s the female. (male has red abdomen and female has larger eye) Pic attached.
What do you think?

Mating Wasps may be Spider Wasps

Mating Wasps may be Spider Wasps

Hi again Jill,
We agree that the mating wasps look like the same species as the single wasp image you submitted, and we also agree that they might be Spider Wasps.  We do have a favor to request regarding future submissions.  Please limit your submissions to one species per submission form and please use a new submission form for each submission.  I really complicates our ability to post and archive submissions when multiple species occur in one email, and adding additional images to an existing email chain further complicates the posting process.
  We will create a new posting for the Flower Wasp.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unidentified damselfly
Location: Mexico, see text
January 30, 2015 4:48 am
During a 5 week trip in southern Mexico in Dec-Jan 2014-15, I had the opportunity to photograph quite a large a number of insects. Among those that I haven’t been able to identify yet is this damselfly, probably an Argia species. The first two photos show the same individual, the 3th photo shows another individual but it could very well be the same species (identical shoulder striping).
Location image 1 and 2: Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo province, altitude: sea level.
Location image 3: Rio Lagartos, Yucatan province, altitude: sea level.
Any id suggestions would be highly appreciated.
Signature: David Kohl

Damselfly

Damselfly

Dear David,
We are afraid that the proper species identification of your Damselflies is beyond our ability.  We are posting your images in the hope that one of our readers can provide you with information.

Damselfly

Damselfly

Another Damselfly

Another Damselfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect identification South Africa
Location: wellington, western cape, South Africa
January 30, 2015 12:16 am
Hi there, we found this insect on the farm that we live on in the western cape. It appears that he kills spiders larger than himself and then carries them away to eat. He has very long legs. Please could you help identify him?
Signature: Jody

Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp

Dear Jody,
This is a rather distant view is of a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, and there are several Australian relatives that look very similar.  We believe this may be a member of the genus
Hemipepsis based on this image on iSpot.  In North America, the genus members are called Tarantula Hawks.  Your interpretation of the natural drama you witnessed is not correct.  The female Tarantula Hawk does the hunting.  Both she and her mate visit blossoms for nectar, and the high sugar content gives them energy to mate and provide for their young.  All provisions are the responsibility of the female, who hunts large spiders, including Trapdoor Spiders and Wolf Spiders as well as Huntsman Spiders and Tarantulas.  The Spider Wasp stings and paralyzes the spider, and then drags it back to the burrow where a single egg is laid on the spider.  Since the spider is paralyzed and not dead, the meat stays fresh while the wormlike Wasp Larva eats first nonessential muscles before turning to the vital organs, eating the spider alive.

Thank you so much, Daniel!  That is most fascinating!  I really appreciate you getting back to me and sharing your knowledge with me!
Best regards,
Jody

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: UNKNOWN GRASSHOPPER
Location: Botriver Western Cape
January 30, 2015 6:24 am
Hi Bugman,
My hubby and I were in Botriver over the past two weeks ie. 14 to 25 Jan 2015.
We captured this stunning picture of what we believe is a grasshopper of sorts. Absolutely beautiful, never seen anything like it in my life.
Thought you might like to have a look at it and maybe identify it for me?
thanks so much.
kind regards
Signature: Judy

Green Milkweed Locust

Green Milkweed Locust

Hi Judy,
Your images are stunning and this Grasshopper is gorgeous.  It is a member of the family Pyrgomorphidae, commonly called the Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers.  They feed on milkweed, and many species are ably to synthesize and store compounds from the plants that render the grasshoppers toxic.  They also have aposomatic or warning coloration to ward off predators.  Your individual is a Green Milkweed Locust,
Phymateus leprosus, and you can verify our identification on iSpot.

Green Milkweed Locust

Green Milkweed Locust

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Haitian Sensation
Location: Cap-Haïtien, République d’Haïti
January 30, 2015 12:45 am
Hallo,
What an informative website. So, Giant Crab Spider, Sparassid, Olios, I guess. May I ask for some help in identification, please? This was seen in northern Haiti … no unnecessary carnage though I can’t speak to her relationship with the local cockroach community.
Thank you,
Signature: James

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Hi James,
You have the family correct, but this Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider is
Heteropoda venatoria, a species that has spread to warm coastal cities throughout the world with shipments of bananas, hence another common name of Banana Spider.  This individual is a male.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp or Moth in Costa Rica
Location: Golfito, Costa Rica
January 29, 2015 1:03 pm
Hello Bugman,
I found this insect around midnight on our concrete drive on the edge of the rainforest. The metallic blue and gold abdomen and the red head parts along with those wing were quite striking. Any ideas on what it could be? Thanks.
Signature: Ocho Verde

Wasp Moth

Wasp Moth

Dear Ocho Verde,
You are correct that this is a wasp mimic moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, but we are having a bit of difficulty with a species identification.  It reminds us of the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth,
Empyreuma affinis, and we suspect it might be in the same genus.  We will contact lepidopterist Julian Donahue to see if he can provide an identification.

Julian Donahue provides correction.
Nowhere near that, but it is a ctenuchid. Without access to the collection, after checking references at hand there are several possibilities, but from what I can gather it looks most like Poliopastea mirabilis (type locality: Colombia), but I wouldn’t take that to the bank without actually examining the specimen and comparing it to specimens in the collection.
Sorry I can’t be more definite, but I’ve run out of time. (I can tell you that this species doesn’t occur in French Guiana, whose ctenuchids have recently been monographed and illustrated.)
Julian

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination