From the monthly archives: "January 2019"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bug Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Unknown
Date: 01/25/2019
Time: 02:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Sir,
I have many bugs in resin, that I would like to be identified. If this is possible that would be great. The bugs vary from scorpions to beetles, from flies to crickets. I do have more bugs to identify, however only three images could be attached, if you could contact me and then I will be able to attach the other images. If more images are required please contact me. Thank you very much.
How you want your letter signed:  Best Regards, George.

Spotted Lanternfly in Lucite

Dear George,
In most cases, we have an ethical opposition to the trade in insects preserved in lucite, but we are especially intrigued by one of your images that appears to be a Spotted Lanternfly,
Lycorma delicatula, an invasive, exotic species that was recently accidentally introduced to Pennsylvania about five years ago, and has since become a significant concern as a threat to the agriculture industry as well as to home gardeners.  We have no ethical opposition to capturing invasive species and embedding them in lucite to sell as curios to raise money to help fight the spread of this and other non-native species that become established, often threatening native species.

Dear Mr.Marlos,
Thank you for the reply, and the help in identifying an insect. I was also just wondering why are you opposed to this, because I do like keeping insects and animals, I have a tortoise and I have owned frogs and millipedes, and I just want to know the reasons. Thanks so much for your reply.
Best Regards, George.
George Evans
Dear George,
We have a similar reaction on a much greater scale when we see big game hunters with their trophies.  We would prefer to see living beasts than to see antelope heads mounted on walls or tiger skin rugs in front of fireplaces.  Collectors will spend high sums for rare species, which leads to poaching.  There is a book called Winged Obsession about butterfly smuggling.  Most cheap trinkets of insects embedded in lucite do not fall into the endangered species category, but our issues stem more from people who collect because of the desire to own pretty things to display rather than to collect specimens for scientific research.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Giant Robber fly.
Geographic location of the bug:  Numurkah Victoria
Date: 01/26/2019
Time: 03:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Gday to be buggered I could fine any relation to this bug.
Then your site popped up.
I have sighted this fly several times in the last month or so.
Different locations around our 60acres.
It’s massive. It’s loud. It’s soooo fast. I had to take a slow mo video of it.
Any way would like to know anything you have on this sucker.
How you want your letter signed:  Sorry not sure on this question.

Giant Yellow Robber Fly

We have always found the Giant Yellow Robber Fly, Blepharotes coriarius, from Australia to be an extremely impressive Robber Fly.  The Australian Asilidae site also pictures several other similar looking species.  Your individual appears to have a tufted abdomen, indicating it is a male, and it really does most resemble the image of the male Blepharotes coriarius pictured near the top of the page. 

Giant Yellow Robber Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Flies on Zululand coast
Geographic location of the bug:  South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Mabibi
Date: 01/25/2019
Time: 03:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Flies on a tree in coastal Zululand. Mabibi.
How you want your letter signed:bewilderbeast

Buzzard Signal Flies

Dear bewilderbeast,
These are really crazy looking Flies, almost like toy flies.  This is only the second posting we have made in 17 years of the Buzzard Signal Fly,
Bromophila caffra, from South Africa.  According to WTB? contributor Piotr Naskrecki on his awesome blog The Smaller Majority where he uses the descriptive common name Red Headed Fly, they are:  “large, slow moving insects, reluctant to take to the air, and much happier to hang in clusters from low tree branches. They are truly striking animals, showy and clearly unconcerned about attracting anybody’s attention, including that of potential predators. …  But for an insect as conspicuous and common as the Red-headed fly, shockingly little is known about its biology. In fact, the last scientific paper that mentions it by name (according to an extensive MetaLib cross-database search) is from 1915, and it does so only to compare the fly’s strikingly red head to another species. As already pointed out in an excellent post about this species by Ted C. MacRae, there exists only anecdotal evidence that the larvae of this species might be feeding on the roots of Terminalia trees, potentially sequestering toxic cyclic triterpenes, which would explain the adult flies’ aposematic coloration. But, as is the case with so many African invertebrates, nobody really knows.”  A very detailed image of the Buzzard Signal Fly can be found on Encyclopedia of Life.

Buzzard Signal Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Insect ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Marseilles, IL, USA
Date: 01/25/2019
Time: 02:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have tried several online insect identification keys to no avail. It kind of looks like a diplura or a grylloblattodea or a collembola but it doesn’t seem to exactly match up with any of the three because of its black color. What do you think it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Kevin

Snowfly

Dear Kevin,
This looks to us like a Winter Stonefly, and because they are frequently found with snow on the ground, they are sometimes called Snowflies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What the heck is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Paralowie, south australia
Date: 01/24/2019
Time: 03:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug and did a quick google and it looks like a blue winged wasp which is from America. I’m in Australia! Surely I’m wrong.
How you want your letter signed:  lysieebear

Hairy Flower Wasp

Dear lysieebear,
This is a Hairy Flower Wasp in the family Scoliidae, the same family as the North American Blue Winged Wasp, hence their similarity in appearance.  We located a similar individual on FlickR, but it is only identified to the family level.  Thanks to the Atlas of Living Australia, we believe we have identified your individual as
Laeviscolia frontalis frontalis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Insect found in deadwood
Geographic location of the bug:  Ontario, Canada
Date: 01/15/2019
Time: 02:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I’ve been analyzing insect emerging from deadwood. This is the only one I have difficulty identifying to the even the order level. It emerged from pine that had been left to rot for one year. It emerged in early summer. The images were taken using my camera phone thorough a stereo microscope on max zoom. It has 4 wings, its antennae are segmented and longer than its body. It looks like some weird cross between strepsiptera(too big) and bark lice (different face shape). Even order level identification would be much appreciated. Thanks 🙂
How you want your letter signed:  PJ

Duskywing

Dear PJ,
The four wings definitely eliminates any of the Flies in the order Diptera.  We decided to browse BugGuide prior to requesting assistance on this identification, and at first we thought this might be a Zorapteran from the order Zoraptera, which would represent a new Insect order for our site.  Here is a beautiful drawing from BugGuide and here is an image from BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Tiny, gregarious insects found in decaying wood.  Wingless and winged forms occur in both sexes. 4 membranous wings with much reduced venation. Antennae moniliform and 9-segmented. Wingless forms lack compound eyes and ocelli, but winged forms have both. Tarsi 2-segmented. Cerci are short and unsegmented. Abdomen, short, oval and 10-segmented.”  Our main cause for doubting that identification is that your images depict many more than 9 segments in the antennae, so we believe this is most likely NOT a Zorapteran, but interestingly, the rest of the description seems accurate.  We will contact Eric Eaton to get his input.  According to NC State University General Entomology:  ” Zoraptera is the third smallest insect order.  Only Mantophasmatodea and Grylloblattodea contain fewer species.  Some species of Zoraptera have been found living in the nests of termites and mammals.  No one is sure what these insects are doing there.  In most Zoraptera, there are two forms of adults: winged individuals are usually brown in color and have both eyes and ocelli, wingless individuals are usually blind and pale (unpigmented) in color.”  Perhaps one of our readers will have a suggestion.

Duskywing

Eric Eaton Responds.
Wow.  I think you might be on the right track with Zoraptera, actually.  Otherwise, maybe a male scale insect.  I do not have enough expertise in either of those to have a better clue.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Update:  January 23, 2019
Hey Daniel,
I was able to id it to a dusty wing genus in neoptera(they don’t have as much netting as lace wings). It has lost its scales which made it more difficult to id. Would have been cool if I found a zoraptera in my 30,700 samples but they are quite rare as you said.
Thanks,
PJ
Dear PJ,
Thanks for letting us know what you determined.  We are linking to the Duskywings in the family Coniopterygidae on BugGuide where it states:  “Adults covered with white waxy powder which gives a granulated appearance to the surface when viewed close-up; wings whitish with reduced venation, and held tent-like over abdomen at rest; antennae long and slender; mouthparts moderately long and beak-like; legs relatively long, especially hindlegs.”  Here is a BugGuide image that somewhat resembles the images you submitted.  How do you explain its emergence from rotting pine?
Update:  January 24, 2019
Hey Daniel,

All the specimen I collected were from emergence traps. Wood was left outside for a year then collected and placed in a PVC pipe with a little opening that led to a vial of ethanol. The lack of scales might be due to it being submerged in ethanol for a few days before being collected. It may have been an unfortunate hitch hiker as a larvae/pupae when we placed the log in the PVC pipe or possibly gotten though the thin mesh we had set up. It is the only individual I have out of 30700 invertebrate samples. I do have about 4 other individuals that look somewhat like this specimen but they are likely a different species or sex(pic attached) as they were found in different logs and later collections.
This is the closest looking individual I could find on bugguide but it’s antennae also differ.
I am hoping to take some better resolution images by borrowing a neighboring labs microscope with a camera attachment.
My prof has managed to get funding for a bar coding plate so this may be one of the individuals I choose to analyze and hopefully it will get a match in a database.
I can send you an image of the close up if you’d be interested if/when I’m able to obtain one.
Thanks,
PJ

Duskywing

That would be great PJ.  We look forward to any updates you might have in the future.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination