From the monthly archives: "January 2018"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Identify
Geographic location of the bug:  Georgia
Date: 01/25/2018
Time: 05:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This has been found in family members hair last few months since my teen sons friend spent the night. Now they have multiplied, mostly in my daughter’s dreads she just started, a two in teen son and a couple in other sons hair. We have used special sprays and shampoos lice combed them out washed all clothing and bedding and still finding them.
How you want your letter signed:  Frustrated family

Human Head Louse

Dear Frustrated family,
This is a Human Head Louse and it sounds like you are doing what needs to be done to eradicate them from your family and your home.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Juvenile assassin bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Canberra, ACT
Date: 01/24/2018
Time: 04:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, does this look like an assassin bug instar to you? I can’t find anything  in picture files with the two spots…
How you want your letter signed:  Edwin

Hi, actually don’t bother! I think now it’s a eucalyptus tip bug instar. Thanks for your great work anyway!
Edwin

Immature Crusader Bug

Dear Edwin,
We got your subsequent communication indicating that your believe this is a “eucalyptus tip bug instar” instead of an Assassin Bug nymph, but we disagree.  Five different species of Eucalyptus Tip Wilter Bugs from the tribe Amorbini are pictured on the Brisbane Insect site, and none resemble your nymph.  We did find an image on Alamy identified as Australian Crusader bug nymphs that is a better match, and that identification is supported by images of
Mictis profana on the Brisbane Insect site.  Congratulations on identifying the correct family.  The identification of immature insects is often a challenge.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Some kind of hoverfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Pu’u Wa’awa’a, Big Island, Hawaii
Date: 01/25/2018
Time: 06:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Greetings,
I saw this fly on a mamane flower at around 4,000 feet, near the top of Pu’u Wa’awa’a. It looks like some kind of hoverfly. I thought the markings on the back end would make it easy to  ID, but I can’t find one that looks exactly like this. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Mahalo.
How you want your letter signed:  Graham

Hover Fly

Dear Graham,
This is indeed a Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, a group whose members often impersonate stinging Bees and Wasps as protective mimicry.  Many members of the family closely resemble one another, so exact species identification can be difficult, and this is further exacerbated in Hawaii where many insects and other creatures are not native.  This FlickR image of 
Allograpta obliqua looks very similar, and according to BugGuide data, it is a very far ranging species across North America, making it a likely candidate for its also living in Hawaii.  According to Phorid.net:  “This species is found from North America to Southern South America, and has been introduced in Hawaii. A few specimens were collected at both our Year 1 Malaise trap sites. The larvae feed on aphids, and were found to be a major component of the syrphid fauna of organic lettuce fields on the Central Coast of California.”

Hi Daniel,
Many thanks for the identification. That certainly looks like what I saw. Armed with that information, I found several other sites (scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/14453, entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/hover_fly.htm, www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/rubinoffd/rubinoff_lab/projects/Pest_Fruit_Flies/Pest_Fruit_Flies.htm) confirming the presence of Allograpta obliqua in Hawaii.
Keep up the good work.
Graham

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Weird bug on fence
Geographic location of the bug:  Florida
Date: 01/25/2018
Time: 07:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! So I found this big guy on my fence. I’ve never seen anything like it before. The top half looks like an owlet moth….I’m not sure what the bottom half looks like. I’ve tried doing searches, but I can’t find anything. Even tried to search for the life cycle of the owlet, but that doesn’t yield anything, either. It was about 2″ long and about as big around as a pinky finger. It stayed on the fence nearly all day.
How you want your letter signed:  Cher Lewis

Newly Eclosed Eyed Tiger Moth

Dear Cher,
This is a newly eclosed Eyed Tiger Moth or Giant Leopard Moth.  Eclosion is the process of emerging from the pupal state, so this individual’s wings have not yet expanded allowing it to fly, a process that might take several additional hours.  Insects are most vulnerable during the process of metamorphosis.

Newly Eclosed Eyed Tiger Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Teneb captives
Geographic location of the bug:  CA
Date: 01/25/2018
Time: 02:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Ah, the power of food! Insects lose much fear of man in this state.
The shinier teneb is Coniontis, and despite being only 10 mm long it has been alive since summer, when I rescued it. I am currently trying to record its mysterious vibratory song, which has never been done before.
The duller one did not come from the local area, and identity is unknown.
PS: I’ve attached a bonus pic of the pet Cotinis dozing on top of its meal
How you want your letter signed:  AlexW, extreme entomophile

Darkling

Dear Alex,
Thanks for sending us an image of your captive Darkling Beetles.  Eric Eaton once told us that if we are ever having trouble identifying a Beetle, it is most likely a Darkling Beetle.  Good luck with the sound recording.  The song to which you refer is a result of stridulation, or producing sound by rubbing body parts together, which no doubt you already know, but we write it for the benefit of our readership.

Hello Daniel, I have one more minor nit to pick. I forgot to include that the Coniontis’s song consists of a short spurt of vibrating the body against substrate, and thus “stridulation” may not be the right term. I affectionately call my Coniontis the “tok-tok of Los Angeles” for this reason =)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Name of bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Geilston Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I wonder if you could tell me what kind of bug this is? They range in size from not much bigger than a pinhead to about 5 mms. I only see them for a short period in summer. Usually in small clusters on the road, though this year I have noticed them in the vegetation on the roadside. I have never seen them anywhere except this one small section (approximately 15 ft) of road. Thanks so much for your time
How you want your letter signed:  Ruth Gooding

Immature Jewel Bugs

Dear Ruth,
These are immature Shield Bugs in the family Scutellaridae, and because many members of the family have bright metallic colors, they are frequently called Jewel Bugs.  We located a nearly identical image on FlickR from Tasmania that identifies the species as
Choerocoris paganus creche.  The tripart name stands for genus, species and subspecies.  We found additional information on the genus and species from Australia, which leads us to believe the subspecies C. p. creche is a Tasmanian subspecies.  Geographically isolated populations often form subspecies, and with the passage of time, they might even become distinct species.  The Atlas of Living Australia calls the species the Ground Shield Bug, and the Brisbane Insect site calls it the Red Jewel Bug.  According to Jungle Dragon:  “Adults and nymphs feed primarily on the sappy contents of seeds of hop-bush (Dodonaea viscosa), including those which have fallen to the ground.”

Immature Jewel Bugs

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination