From the monthly archives: "February 2016"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Redhead with white tip on tail
Location: Sabang, Palawan, Philippines
February 1, 2016 2:43 am
Hi, we saw this strange bug in remnant of tropical rainforest in Palawan, Philippines. Any ideas what it is?
Signature: Lyn and Andrew

Possibly Ichneumon from Philippines

Stephanid Wasp from Philippines

Dear Lyn and Andrew,
This really is an unusual looking insect, and though we are unable to provide you with a species identity, we can tell you it is a Parasitic Hymenopteran, possibly a member of the family Braconidae, the Braconid Wasps or the family Ichneumonidae, the Ichneumon Wasps.  We will continue to try to research its identity and perhaps we will get some assistance from our readership.  The bright red head is very distinctive, and the white tipped tail is actually the ovipositor the female uses to lay her eggs.  Parasitic Hymenopterans prey upon a vast array of insects, including butterflies, moths, cockroaches spiders, often attacking the immature stages like eggs, larvae and pupae.

Many thanks Daniel. I kept researching myself – ? gasteruptidae? Thoughts? Lyn

Hi again Lyn,
The general shape of a Carrot Wasp in the family Gasteruptidae looks very close, but we cannot find any images with such a distinctive red head.

Update:  Stephanid Wasp
We received a comment informing us that this wasp is in the family Stephanidae, and we have members of the family in our archives from North America that are called Crown of Thorns Wasps.  The submitted image looks very similar to images of the Crown Wasp,
Megischus insularis, that are posted on Nature Love You.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: There are so many things happening here
Location: San Marco de los Santos, Costa Rica
January 31, 2016 9:55 pm
Hello! I was walking through the chilly mountain region of Los Santos, Costa Rica, and almost walked straight into this bug party happening on a branch of a tree in a city park.
I can identify the wasp, and up near the top there seems to a Blue Morpho cocoon, but what’s attacking the Morpho? And what are those robotic looking white guys? And the bright yellow guys?
The wasp wasn’t going anywhere, either. He looked almost as is he were chaperoning the bug party, and had no intention of flying off.
Signature: Abby

Treehoppers, Membracis mexicana, Adults and Nymphs

Treehoppers, Membracis mexicana, Adults and Nymphs

Dear Abby,
The insects in question, both the “robotic looking white guys” and the “bright yellow guys” are Treehoppers, and they are the same species.  The yellow individuals are the winged adults and the white individuals are the immature nymphs.  We identified the species as
 Membracis mexicana on FlickR.  We verified that ID on Arthropoda Mexicana where there are images of both nymphs and adults.  Encyclopedia of Life also has images of the adults.  We believe that you have mistaken a bud or pod on the plant for a Blue Morpho chrysalis, which is understandable because this image from pBase resembles what is on the plant.  The bud or pod is infested with Aphids.  We will also try to eventually provide a species of family identity of the wasp.

Treehoppers, Wasp and Aphids

Treehoppers, Wasp and Aphids

Thanks so much! 🙂
Looking again, a morpho cocoon wouldn’t hang like that, you’re right! I jumped to that since they’re so common here.
I’m going too look into the treehoppers a bit.
Thanks for the info!
Abby

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Snowy recluse?
Location: Stratford, Connecticut
January 30, 2016 7:48 pm
I snapped this picture while dog walking last week. I was surprised to see a spider crawling across the snow. Is it a brown recluse?
Signature: Karen

Hacklemesh Weaver in the Snow

Hacklemesh Weaver in the Snow

Dear Karen,
We are going to go out on a limb and say that this Spider walking on the snow is an unusual sighting.  The pronounced pedipalps indicate your spider is a male and the large mandibles made our identification relatively easy.  The Spiders of Connecticut site has a good image of a male Hacklemesh Weaver,
Amaurobius feros, that looks like a very close match to your spider.  The site states:  “Native to Europe, it has become established in southeastern Canada and the eastern U.S., though is not limited to those regions. This robust spider is common in and around homes, but also lives under rocks, logs, in leaf litter, and other dark, humid places. Adult males are notorious for wandering in the spring.”  BugGuide also has a good matching image and the information page on BugGuide provides the common name Black Lace Weaver and states:  “A synanthropic species; found associated with humans and man-made structures.”  Spiders.Us provides this life cycle information:  “For this nocturnal spider, mating seems to take place mostly in the spring, but sometimes also in the fall. However, because this species seems to have a lifespan of 2 years or more, it is possible to find sexually mature specimens year-round, so mating may take place at any time really. Egg laying seems to happen mainly in the early summer. The female deposits eggs into a lens-shaped, silken sac about 7-15mm in diameter. Each sac can have anywhere from 60-180 individual eggs inside and it takes about 3-4 weeks before the spiderlings emerge. She stands guard over them that entire time.  Interestingly, this species is matriphagous, which means the mother sacrifices herself as food for her spiderlings. This happens a day or two after their first molt, which is roughly one week from their emergence from the egg sac. This species is considered ‘subsocial’ because, after cannibalizing their mother, the spiderlings remain together and feed communally for about a month. They overwinter in their immature stage, and most overwinter once again in their adult form.”  Our favorite bit of trivia also comes from Spiders.Us:  “Cloudsley-Thompson (1955) mentions that, in England, Amaurobius ferox is sometimes called the ‘Old Churchman’ because it can be seen scurrying around on the walls and pews of old churches before rain storms.” 

Awesome Daniel!  Thanks for the ID and the info about him.  I’ve been a fan of the site for many years and this is my first “bug of the month”, very cool!  Happy (early) spring!
Karen in CT

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination