Subject: WTB
Location: Johannesburg
December 8, 2016 9:06 am
Hi
ref photo, Taken by me, Johannesburg, Dec 8th near the airport. The closest thing I could find was the Helmeted Squash bug. But I dont think its that. African derivative ? It does stink, when disturbed,
and does have offspring as per pic, plenty of. Please could you let me know what this is ?
Thx
Rgds
Signature: Gary

Hi, I found it
Carlisis Wahlbergi, or giant twig wilter, apparently you guys had already ID’d this in 2010. Thx G

Tip Wilters: Adults and First Instar

Tip Wilters: Adults and First Instar

Dear Gary,
We are happy you located the Giant Tip Wilter on our site.  Your image is awesome.  It pictures two winged imagos, the adult form, and what we believe is a first instar nymph recently hatched.  Since we will be away from the office during the holidays, we are postdating your submission to go live to our site at the end of the month.

Update:  January 6, 2017
Hi Daniel
Thank you for putting the pic on the web site.
I have two more , as attached, for your perusal.
Thx
G

Tip Wilter Nymphs

Happy New Year Gary,
Your new images are quite nice.  We especially like the image of the newly metamorphosed red nymph whose color should soon darken.

Tip Wilter Metamorphosis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Tampa
December 5, 2016 4:07 pm
Took this picture today (12-5-16) in Tampa.
Signature: Bobb

Polka Dot Wasp Moth

Polka Dot Wasp Moth

Dear Bobb,
This pretty, harmless, wasp-mimic is a Polka Dot Wasp Moth,
Syntomeida epilais.  The caterpillars feed on oleander.  We will be posting your submission live to our site at the end of the month when we are away on holiday.

Subject: Unknown bug
Location: Gainesville, FL
December 13, 2016 9:34 am
I found this swarm of little bugs after trying to watery cactus. There’s was thousands of them! All over the cactus! I don’t know what they are. Can you help? They were livingin the soul and carrying either eggs or larvae when I disturbed them.
Signature: Trevor Forrest

Booklice

Booklice or Ghost Ants

Dear Trevor,
The behavior you describe, “carrying either eggs or larvae when I disturbed them”, implies they are social insects like Ants, but the image you provided appears more like Booklice in the genus
Liposcelis which is pictured on BugGuide.  Alas, two of your attached images are too blurry to ascertain any details, and the third image does not provide a large enough view to be certain.  According to BugGuide, Booklice are found:  “worldwide and across NA; many spp. are now nearly cosmopolitan or otherwise widely spread through agency of man, mostly with stored products(” and their habitat is “under bark, in ant nests, in homes” which makes sense based on your account.  Booklice are considered benign unless they are plentiful enough to present a nuisance, or if they infest stored food products.  Since you seem pretty certain they were transporting eggs and larvae, we suspect they are most likely Ghost Ants, Tapinoma melanocephalum, which are also pictured on BugGuide and according to BugGuide:  “native to the Old World tropics, adventive elsewhere; in our area, established in FL (expanding) and reached TX in mid-1990s (prob. through Galveston on a shipment of plants from FL); infestations reported in many areas as far north as MB, but in cooler areas the ant can only survive indoors (greenhouses, etc.)”  We would favor the Ghost Ant ID.  If you get better images, please submit them.  Because we will be away from the office during the holidays, we are postdating your submission to go live at the end of the month.

Booklice

Booklice or Ghost Ants

Thank you for the info. I’m not quite sure they are either. I tried to get better pictures,  but they were moving really fast and everything came out blurry. I looked now and they are all back from where they came in the soil of the cactus. They did leave behind a bunch tiny white balls on the surface though.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Aphids…Again
Location: Dead on the ground and in the Christmas Tree
December 2, 2016 12:09 pm
Dear Bugman,
You helped us identify the bugs on our Christmas Tree last year as aphids – I was very happy to learn they were aphids and not ticks or spiders, so thank you! However, even with close inspection before bringing it home, it seems our tree again this year has aphids. We’ve had the tree six days and so far we’ve seen a handful of dead ones on the ground under the tree, until this morning. I found a small puddle of sap on the floor so investigated and discovered a branch with a cluster of them just above the puddle. I cut the branch off and attempted to thoroughly inspect the tree. I didn’t find any, but they’re pretty hard to see with the naked eye – their color and size help them blend in well! My question: is the tree doomed? Are aphids a pack bug? If there’s a handful, is the tree bound to be infested and they just haven’t made their appearance yet? I’d rather drag the tree out now and not Christmas morning!
Thank you, again!
Signature: Buggin Out, Again

Giant Conifer Aphids

Giant Conifer Aphids

Dear Buggin Out, Again,
Each year we get at least one report of a Christmas Tree with Giant Conifer Aphids on it.  We suspect that most farmed Christmas trees have a good chance of supporting a population of Aphids.  Aphids are generally found in significant numbers rather than individually.  We are most amused that you asked if your tree is doomed.  The tree was doomed the minute the axe was taken to it, and one might even argue that since it likely came from a tree farm, it was doomed the minute it was planted.  Our advice to you is to chill and ignore the Aphids you have found and to just enjoy your tree until you normally remove it.  The Giant Conifer Aphids will not infest your houseplants, and they will not leave the tree unless they drop dead onto the floor.  You will need to vacuum tree needles anyways, so don’t stress.  Since we will be leaving the office for the holidays, we are postdating your submission to go live to our site at the end of the month. 

Subject: Help! Very concerned
Location: in the bedroom and toilet
December 2, 2016 8:02 pm
This is the second time i am seeing this bug and i am concerned what brings them and should i be worried. Thanks
Signature: Cedric

Silverfish

Silverfish

Dear Cedric,
This is a Silverfish, a common household pest that shuns light and is generally found in dark, damp places.  Silverfish will eat almost anything organic, including the glue in wallpaper and book bindings.  We will be postdating your submission to go live at the end of the month when we are away on holiday.

Subject: What spider is this?
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
December 8, 2016 1:21 pm
Hi there, I found this spider at the doorway of my local McDonalds and had a leg span of about 20cms tip of back legs to top of front legs. It was also really hairy and a guy walked passed it and petted it like it was a furry little kitten.
Signature: Signed?

Possibly Water Spider

Possibly Nursery Web Spider

There is not much detail in your image, so a definitive identification may be impossible, however, the manner in which your spider holds its legs reminds us of the posture of a Nursery Web Spider or Fishing Spider in the family Pisauridae.  This iSpot image shows that posture.  It may be a member of the genus Nilus which is represented on iSpot.

Hi there Daniel,
Thanks for the response, much obliged…. guess I always hope that what I’ve found was some super rare, over poisonous mutant spider…. but it’s never the case, lol!
Cheers!!
Regards,
Keeran Singh