From the monthly archives: "January 2015"

Subject: Bug in Somalia
Location: Hargeisa, Somaliland
January 29, 2015 11:13 am
Dear sir , do you have any idea what this one might be? I photographed it in Hargeisa (Somaliland, East AFRICA) on 29 January 2015. Eric
Signature: Eric

Armored Ground Cricket

Armored Ground Cricket

Hi Eric,
This is a Katydid, and it looks very much like the Armored Ground Cricket from Namibia we posted last year that Piotr Naskrecki identified as
Acanthoproctus cervinus.  We will contact Piotr to confirm the species.

Daniel
Wow that was quick!!!! Thank you so much!

Subject: Weird Orange Spider UK
Location: Cambridge, UK
January 29, 2015 1:22 am
I found this in our outside covered pool. It is held pretty warm in their all year round. Took some pics and tried to locate what it was but no idea.
Signature: James Sore

Orbweaver

Orbweaver

Hi James,
This is an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, but we are not certain of the species.  Orbweavers are often large colorful spiders that attract attention because they generally wait for prey in a classic orb web.  Large Orbweavers may bite if carelessly handled, but they are not dangerous to humans.  See some of the individuals on Ray Wilson Bird & Wildlife Photography.
  The Garden Spider, Araneus diadematus, on the Photography Obsession page looks like a good match.  The Garden Spiders pictured on Nature Watch exhibit considerable color variation.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so very much. It has put my mind at rest. I had never seen one before and was worried that the artificial temperature of the covered pool was harbouring something a bit exotic !!
Thanks once again.
James

Subject: Interesting ladybug from Johannesburg
Location: Northern Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
January 29, 2015 5:24 am
Hello, I head the Eco-Schools initiative from HeronBridge College in Johannesburg, South Africa. We have started an initiative at the school called “Wild HeronBridge”. The aim is to compile lists of the creatures that share our space so we often have photos of bugs etc. that we would love to have identified. This is a case in point. It was photographed earlier in January at HeronBridge, which is in the extreme northern parts of Johannesburg, province Gauteng, South Africa. it looks like a Cheilomenes but the colour and patterning are different from the regular red orange variety. We would greatly appreciate it if you could ID it for us so that we can add it to our insect lists.
Signature: HeronBridge College

Beetle

Beetle

Dear HeronBridge College,
Do you have a larger file with greater resolution?  Are there any views showing the head of the beetle?  We are more inclined to speculate that this is a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae, but we would like to see a better image prior to researching its identity.

Hello
Thanks so much for your email regarding our insect.  Unfortunately there was only one picture taken of the bug but here it is with a better resolution.  We really appreciate any assistance you can give us!
Regards
Charlotte

Leaf Beetle we believe

Potato Ladybird Beetle

Thanks for providing a higher resolution image Charlotte.  The plant it is on has a distinctive seed pod.  Can you provide the name of the plant?  That may assist in a proper identification of the Beetle, which we still believe to be a Leaf Beetle.

Leaf Beetle we believe

Potato Ladybird Beetle on Datura, we believe

Hi Daniel
Thanks again for your perseverance with this identification!  I have found out that the plant it is on is and it is interestingly a poisonous plant – Datura Stramonium:
Datura stramonium, known by the common names Jimson weed, Devil’s snare, or datura, is a plant in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. It is believed to have originated in the Americas, but is now found around the world.[1] Other common names for D. stramonium include thornapple and moon flower,[2] and it has the Spanish name Toloache.[3] Other names for the plant include hell’s bells, devil’s trumpet, devil’s weed, tolguacha, Jamestown weed, stinkweed, locoweed, pricklyburr, and devil’s cucumber.[4]
From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura_stramonium
I hope this helps – especially as it must be quite an amazing beetle to be able to eat a poisonous plant.
Regards
Charlotte

Hi Charlotte,
Thanks for the well researched plant identification.  We did a quick search and did not come up with anything regarding Leaf Beetles, but that information should prove helpful.  We wish there was more detail in your beetle image.  We did some additional research and there are several similar looking Lady Beetles in the family Coccinellidae in South Africa, including the individual on South African PHotographs, and the ones pictured on BioDiversity Explorer.  The image of
Cheilomenes lunata on BioDiversity Explorer might be the closest. The Lunate Ladybird Beetle is well represented on iSpot.

Hi Daniel
Thanks so much – you have been extremely helpful!  Having had a look at the pictures I concur with you that the Cheilomenes Lunata comes the closest.
Much appreciated – we can post it on our Wild HeronBridge blog – where we post interesting creatures we find at the school (http://heronbridgecollege.co.za/blog  – if you have a moment!)
Regards
Charlotte

Thanks for providing a link to your wonderful blog.

Correction:  April 25, 2015
Cesar Crash from our sister site Insetologia, provided a comment indicating that this looks like a Potato Ladybird,
Epilachna dregei, which is identified on Photographs from South Africa.  According to information on iSpot, this species congregates in large aggregations in the winter.  According to Biodiversity Explorer:  “Lays eggs and feeds on potato and tomato leaves. Larvae feed on the underside of the leaves and adults on the top side. Adults congregate in large numbers and spend the dry season on hilltops.”  Most Lady Beetles are predatory, but there are a few species, including the Potato Ladybird, that feed on plants.  Since Datura is in the same family as potato and tomato, it makes sense that Charlotte found this individual on Datura.

Subject: New insect on our land in Patagonian Chile
Location: Aisen, Patagonian Chile
January 28, 2015 12:55 pm
This bug appeared on our ,and today and are wondering what it is. We live in Aisen, Patagonian Chile.
Signature: Paul Coleman

Click Beetle

Click Beetle

Dear Paul,
This is a gorgeous Click Beetle in the family Elateridae, a group characterized by the ability of snapping the thoracic and abdominal body segments against a surface should an unfortunate Click Beetle find itself on its back.  The action produces an audible click and allow the beetle to flip in the air, righting itself.  Your individual looks very similar to the species
 Semiotus luteipennis which is featured on a stamp from Chile on the Insects on Stamps website.  It is also pictured on Coleoptera Neotropical and on  Living Jewels.

Click Beetle

Click Beetle

Subject: Orange and Black “thing”
Location: South East Queensland, Australia
January 24, 2015 9:10 pm
Hi,
I’m Katie, I’m only 12 but I found this really strange looking insect on my trampoline. It’s like an ant, but like a spider. It has a bright orange abdomen and it’s thorax is black along with its head. It has 2 long antenna that are orange and its 6 legs are black and white striped. I’ve looked in my MANY bug books and google image searched it, nothing that looks like it. I hope you can help me.
Signature: Love Katie

Immature Assassin Bug

Immature Assassin Bug

Hi Katie,
This is an immature Assassin Bug, and based on images on the Brisbane Insect website, we have determined that it is the Common Assassin Bug,
Pristhesancus plagipennis.  Though it is not a dangerous species, Assassin Bugs are predators and you might get bitten if you attempt to handle them carelessly.  It is best to not handle Assassin Bugs to avoid getting bitten.

Subject: Bug in my chinese apartment
Location: Dongguan, Guangdong, China
January 27, 2015 11:25 pm
Hi Bugman,
My wife found these bugs under our couch cushion and on the wall in our new apartment in Dongguan, Guangdong, China. This located in southern china and it’s January.
I can’t seem to find any pictures or information on what these could be from my research online — can you help identify these? Should she be worried?
Signature: Ryan

Immature Cockroach

Immature Smokey Brown Cockroach

Dear Ryan,
This is an immature Smokey Brown Cockroach, a species that according to the Orkin site:  “They prefer nondwelling areas such as greenhouses, nurseries and gardens but can be an indoor pest. They can be found throughout the southern United States and are most common from Texas to Florida. They have also been found in Southern California. They are major pests in cities such as Houston and New Orleans.”  Many species of Cockroaches that have adapted to living with or near humans now have cosmopolitan distributions, and it can be difficult to trace their place of origin.  We are having a difficult time tracking down information on the distribution of the Smokey Brown Cockroach, and though we don’t normally cite Wikipedia, that universal source of information states:  “The smokybrown cockroach is very common in Japan, as well as the southern United States and tropical climates; notably, it can be found in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and other moist Gulf coastal states, and along the southern Mississippi River.”
  The Biodiversity Heritage Library published an article entitled “The pest status of Periplaneta fuliginosa (Serville) (Dictyoptera: Blattidae) in China”.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the reply and ID. Apologies for the late response and thank
you…hard to access gmail in China.
Great to know that these were in fact cockroaches — never experienced
them in the US. When some of my Chinese friends said they were
cockroaches, I didn’t know if they were or not because I’ve only seen
pictures of mature ones.
Got an exterminator and cleaned up the hidden areas, so my wife isn’t
quite as angry anymore. I’m sure summer will bring more surprises.
Thanks again!
Ryan