Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Down Under"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wtf
Location: Northlands
June 9, 2017 6:29 pm
Found this in red rooster in Perth
Signature: jason battersby

Patterson’s Curse Crown Weevil

Dear Jason,
This is a very unusual looking Weevil.  According to Australian Critters, it is a Crown Weevil,
Mogulones larvatus.  Prior to locating the image on that site, we found images on the Agriculture Victoria site where we learned that two species of weevils, the Crown Weevil and the Root Weevil, were introduced to Australia beginning in 1994 as biological control agents against and invasive plant known as Patterson’s Curse.  According to Agriculture Victoria:  “Paterson’s curse, Echium plantagineum, is a noxious weed of European origin that now occurs in most states of Australia and is mainly a problem in pastures, on roadsides and in degraded and disturbed areas. It reduces agricultural productivity by competing with more nutritious pasture plants and because it is toxic to livestock when ingested continuously. … The crown boring weevil and the root boring weevil are two European insects that have been released in Australia for the biological control of Paterson’s curse.” There are additional images on Atlas of Living Australia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fly with plumes
Location: North Sydney, Australia
June 6, 2017 9:18 pm
Hi!
A colleague sent me a picture of this insect she found. Whilst my first thought was that some unfortunate insect had met its end by Cordyceps, I was told it was definitely alive.
I presume therefore this is a male specimen of some species, but I don’t know where to start to id this.
Could you help me? Thanks!
Signature: Fe

Bird of Paradise Fly

Dear Fe,
This is a male Mealybug, sometimes called a Bird of Paradise Fly, a statement we verified on the Brisbane Insect site, where it states:  “As a member in the Mealy Bugs family, Bird of Paradise Fly is unbelievable large. Females grow up to 40mm, the largest in Soft Bug suborder. Bird of Paradise Fly is an incredible insect. It Adult males have only one pair of wings. When we first it we thought it could be a fly in order Diptera. After we saw the female and we were confused. We cannot tell even the order of this insect. More information and pictures on Bird of Paradise Fly please click this page. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Oleander Hawk Moth?
Location: Cannonvale, North Queensland, Australia
June 3, 2017 8:58 pm
Hey – I live in Cannonvale, North Queensland, Australia. I found this Moth in my yard. After doing a google search I think it’s an Olander Hawk Moth – but apparently we don’t get them in Australia?
Winter has just started here but it is a tropical climate. I found the Moth during the day clinging to the side of the house. It let my pick it up on a stick, very quiet.
Signature: Jessica Stapleton

Hawkmoth: Daphnis protrudens

Dear Jessica,
You are correct that the Oleander Hawkmoth,
Daphnis nerii or Deilephila nerii, is not reported from Australia, however, according to Butterfly House, at least five similar looking relatives in the same genus are reported from Australia.  Of the five, we believe you have encountered Daphnis protrudens, and according to Butterfly House:  “The adult moths have wings with a bold pattern of pale and dark brown. There is a contrasting pair of dark brown and white bands across the first abdominal segment. The wingspan is about 10 cms.  The species occurs in New Guinea, Sulawesi, as well as in Australia in Queensland.”  The species is also pictured on Atlas of Living Australia and CalPhotos.  According to Papua Insects:  “Rather rare in Papua.”

 

Hawkmoth: Daphnis protrudens

Hawkmoth: Daphnis protrudens

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A spider look like pufferfish
Location: Australia 4405
May 23, 2017 4:30 pm
What spider is this, it look like pufferfish, I found that in Australia, I did ask people around, they never saw that before.
Signature: Sam

Jewel Spider from Australia

Dear Sam,
This stunning Spider is known as a Jewel Spider according to the Brisbane Insect site that states:  “Jewel Spiders are also known as Six Spined Spider, Christmas spiders and Spiny Spiders. They can be found in summer, around Christmas time in Brisbane. Their abdomen has bright yellow and white patterns on black back ground. There are six spines on their back.”  According to Atlas of Living Australia, it is widely distributed around Australia and its scientific name is
Austracantha minax.  According to Arachne.org.au:  “This species occurs throughout most of Australia in shrubby woodlands. It is Recorded from all states and territories, in coastal an inland areass. It builds a circular web between shrubs, sometimes this is reduced to a few supporting strands. Black spines around the abdomen and distinctive yellow, white and black markings make this spider easy to identify. Bite mildly painful, temporary local reaction. ♀ 8mm ♂ 5mm.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tree hopper – but WOW!
Location: College Grove (Bunbury), Western Australia
May 16, 2017 10:07 pm
Dear Bugman,
I live and work in Bunbury, Western Australia at a University campus in a natural bush setting. I have a favourite break-time perch on a fallen tree trunk, where for the past few months I have been noticing on occasion juvenile tree hoppers (possibly nymphs) climbing up the trunk of a nearby tree. I did not think to photograph them as they were – forgive me – rather plain looking. They had none of the lurid adornments of many hoppers (such as the ‘fluffy bums’), their tail end has two shortish spines which they carry erect.
Now that the rains have come, I have been noticing what may be an adult form of this hopper. It has the same colouration as the juvenile hoppers I was seeing. I have attached a photo of a single winged insect and what do you know, it has a spectacular tuft of white hair erupting from it’s backside, like I’ve seen in pictures of some nymphs of other hopper species! It is photographed on the trunk of the Banksia tree which I believe is the host plant. You can see that the insect’s colouration is a good match for the bark. They are not strong fliers, managing distances of only a metre or two at a time. They showed no interest in each other whenever they met by chance, which had me wondering if I was seeing represented only one sex.
I was not left wondering for long, as yesterday I found several of what appear to be the mature female form of the insect – and what an amazing creature she is! She is wingless and appears to fully retain her larval form, however is MANY times the size of the male. The specimen I photographed was making her way across damp leaf litter under the trees. Dwarfed by her enormous size, you can see three males on her back, which makes me think I’m definitely seeing male and female of the same species. I saw several specimens with males attached.
I am amazed that what I thought was a rather plain treehopper may be very unusual indeed – the extreme sexual dimorphism suggests the males and females have very different lifestyles, – ‘conventional’ hopper males in the treetops and giant larval females perhaps among the leaf litter. If I had not seen them together, I would never have imagined they were the same species. I have not been able to find any images online that are similar to my specimens, nor any indication that such dimorphism is common in hoppers. I am excited to have found such an unusual and seemingly undocumented insect.
What do you think, Bugman?
Signature: Glenn Brockman

Male Bird of Paradise Scale Insect

Hi Glenn,
What we think is that your images are amazing, and that this is a really exciting posting for us, but these are NOT Treehoppers, but they are members of the same order Hemiptera.  We quickly identified the male Scale Insect as a Bird of Paradise Fly from the genus
Callipappus, thanks to the Australian Museum site where it states:  “This genus includes some of the largest known scale insects in the world. The males and females look completely different. Males are delicate and exotic insects, whilst females are flightless grub-like insects.”  The site also states:  “Males have the front pair of wings well-developed for flying, with the hind pair of wings reduced, so that they look superficially like true flies in the order Diptera. The mouthparts are not functional, so the usual characteristic of the order Hemiptera (“sucking mouthparts”) is not visible. Males have long waxy filaments protruding from the tip of their abdomen, and when they fly they resemble dandelion seed heads. The wings and body are often coloured with vivid violet or red.  Adult females are large, up to 40mm long, often covered in waxy powder, and are usually found immobile and attached to vertical surfaces such as trees and fence posts.”  More information provided on Australian Museum states:  “Females moult into the adult stage and crawl up above ground and onto vertical structures such as trees and fence posts. Males mate with the females at this stage, then the females crawl to a protected place such as under bark, or in a crevice, where they become immobile and appear essentially dead. At this stage the four posterior segments of the abdomen are retracted into the abdomen to form a large cavity (“marsupium”), with a posterior slit-like opening. The first instar nymphs (“crawlers”) develop inside this marsupium in the dead leathery body of the mother, then emerge, dropping onto vegetation and soil. Mortality of these crawlers must be very high as 1,000 to 2,000 are produced per female.”  The site also states:  “Immature stages live underground on roots of plant hosts where they suck sap. Food plants are poorly known, as adult females often move away from nymphal feeding locations.”  You might have discovered that Banksia is a food plant.  The Bird of Paradise Fly and its mating habits are also profiled on the Brisbane Insect site where Violet Pheonix is listed as an alternate name and this information:  “The male has a small head and two black eyes, antenna are about the same length as it body. The male has only one pair of wings. We cannot see any sign of the second pair of wings. The wing veins are simple. They do not put down their wings when rest. We cannot see their mouth parts. The female is much larger than the male and is wingless. She has the flat and scout body with small eyes. She has the antenna about the same length as the male’s. She has three pairs of strong legs for climbing up the gum tree trunk. We believe they are going to lay eggs on the tree top.”  Thank you for contributing this marvelous addition to our site.

Mating Bird of Paradise Scale Insects

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this caterpillar and the hairy stuff around it?
Location: Sydney
May 4, 2017 10:59 pm
Hi! I live in Sydney, Australia and it’s currently autumn. I saw this caterpillar on my cumquat (calamondin) tree. Do you know what kind it is? What is that hairy structure around it? Is it the start of a cocoon?
Signature: Carey

Lichen Moth Cocoon, we believe

Dear Carey,
We found an exact match to your cocoon on FlickR, but alas, it is only identified as a “wingless moth cocoon.”  We actually found that image after finding several similar looking, but not exact images, beginning with Butterfly House where there are images of the caterpillar, caterpillar in its cocoon and pupa in the cocoon of Cyana meyricki, and this information is provided:  “The cocoon made by the caterpillar is quite remarkable. It is an open square mesh cage, constructed out of larval hairs held together with silk. The hairs are too short to construct the cage directly, so the caterpillar attaches pairs of hairs to each other end to end, and uses these pairs to make the sides of the cage. The pupa is suspended in the middle of the cage, equidistant from the sides. The caterpillar even manages to push its final larval skin outside the mesh cage while forming its pupa. When the moth emerges, it appears to exit the cage without damaging it.”  We found another image of the caterpillar in its cocoon on FLickRAustralia Museum provides the common name Lichen Moth and provides this information:  ” This lichen moth makes an elaborate open mesh cocoon using the shed hairs from the hairy caterpillar which are held together with silk. The pupa is suspended in the middle.”  Now we will present our opinion.  We believe this is a Lichen Moth Caterpillar in its cocoon, after losing its hairs and constructing the cocoon, but before the final molt to the pupa occurs, so you are seeing a pre-pupal caterpillar that doesn’t really exactly resemble either the caterpillar or pupal stage as it is in transition.

Update:  May 17, 2017
We just approved a comment that the Clouded Footman,
Anestia ombrophanes, is another possibility, and images on Butterfly House tend to support that possibility.  The site states:  “They form a pupa inside a sparse cocoon made of silk and larval hairs, attached to a fence, a tree, or a wall.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination