Subject:  Identification Request
Location:  Reitvlei Nature Reserve, Johannesburg, South Africa
January 15, 2017
Hello Daniel,
I trust this note finds you well.
I need some help, again. Ref subj.! and attached.
I took this recently at the Reitvlei Nature Reserve near Jhb, not the best of photos, but will suffice.
I went back there last Saturday but they were ALL gone.
I thought some Scarab beetle of some description, ( They seemed to be fighting over
mating or territorial rights), but the big green ones
fly around sounding like bumble bees, which they are not.
I understand you are busy , but please let me know when you can.
The tip wilters are slowly growing into fully fledged ones.
I’ll send a pic when I can
Thanks again.

Giant Emerald Green Fruit Chafers and another Scarab species

Dear Gary,
The green Scarabs appear to be Giant Emerald Green Fruit Chafers,
Dicronorrhina derbyana subsp. derbyana, and the smaller brown Scarabs are definitely a different species, possibly the Zig Zag Fruit Chafers, Anisorrhina flavomaculata, which are pictured on iSpot.  In the future, please submit images using our standard form which can be accessed by clicking the Ask What’s That Bug? link on our site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scarab beetle South Africa
Location: South Africa Lowveld
January 16, 2017 11:02 am
Hi. Can you identify this South Africa species? First time I have seen one. I live in the Lowveld in South Africa
Signature: Francois Lloyd

Giant Emerald Fruit Chafer

Dear Francois,
We identified your Scarab Beetle as a Giant Emerald Fruit Chafer, Dicronorrhina derbyana subsp. derbyana, thanks to images posted to iSpot.  According to iNaturalist:  “These attractive beetles are mainly present in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.”

Subject: Reddish brown insect
Location: South GA
January 15, 2017 6:02 pm
This bug was crawling on my friend in the house. I smacked it & then took several photos. I pray it’s not a bed bug.
Signature: G Mix

Bed Bug

Dear G Mix,
We are sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is indeed a Bed Bug.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Sawfly larva identification
Location: East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
January 14, 2017 11:05 pm
Hello. I am wondering if you can help with the identification of this interesting creature? I think it is a sawfly, family Pergidae, subfamily Perginae (I am happy to be corrected :)), but can’t get any further than that. It was spotted in mid-January, smack-bang in the middle of our Australian summer. It was approximately 2 inches long and moving alone along a fence rail. Nearby trees included two different species of eucalypt and and a she-oak.
Any insights you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks bug guys! 🙂
Signature: Jacinta Richardson


Dear Jacinta,
This is indeed a Sawfly Larva, and in Australia they are known as Spitfires because of the posture they assume when they are disturbed.  We have a group of similar looking Spitfires in our archives.  Based on information on the Australian Museum site, we believe your identification is correct, but we are unable to provide a conclusive species name at this time.


Hi Daniel
Thank you so much for your response. I will keep researching and if I find any additional information I will let you know. I’ll also check back in case other viewers have further insights.
Thanks again. I love the site!


Subject: Beetle
Location: Moyobamba area Peru
January 15, 2017 4:07 am
Please could you help ID this beetle we saw at Waqanki Lodge, Moyobamba, Peru – September 2016? Thank you
Signature: Lynne Demaine

Possibly Soldier Beetle

Dear Lynne,
We wish we could make out the detail on the antennae better as that is a big help in classification.  We are pretty certain this is NOT a Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae, we also believe we can eliminate it being a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae.  We are pursuing research that this is a member of the superfamily Elateroidea, possibly the Soldier Beetle family Cantharidae.  While there are some similar looking Soldier Beetles pictured on Scielo, we were not able to locate a conclusive match.  Perhaps our readership can assist with this identification.

Thank you Daniel for your quick reply – I will hope someone out there can ID it for me!
I have attached a second photo that I took – it does show one of the antennae slightly better.
Best wishes

Soldier Beetle

Facebook comment from Tina
Plausibly Chauliognathus heros, a type of soldier beetle.
Coleopteres du Panama

Ed. Note:  We also found a matching image on Project Noah of an individual from Costa Rica.

Subject: Weird insect infestation on one of my trees!
Location: Sandton, johannesburg
January 12, 2017 10:07 am
Hi there, one of my small trees in my garden is suddenly covered in millions of black insects varying in size from quite large ( about the size of a cricket) to really small. They appear to have hatched from a muddy nest in the bottom of my bird bath which sits under the tree.
They are really quite scary looking and there are literally hundreds of them just sitting on the branches all of the tree- just need to know if they are in any way dangerous ( to my children or the tree😭)
Signature: Jen

Immature Tip Wilter

Dear Jen,
It seems you have multiple different instars or stages of Tip Wilters, True Bugs in the family Coreidae, most likely 
Carlisis wahlbergi based on research we have done in the past.  As their name implies, Tip Wilters cause worts to wilt after the insects use their piercing mouthparts to suck the fluids from the plants upon which they are feeding.  While it is possible that a large Tip Wilter might bite a child if it is carelessly handled, they are not considered dangerous.  The damage they do to the plants is another story, and large quantities of Tip Wilters, which you seem to have, may stunt the growth of your plants.

Immature Tip Wilters