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

Subject:  Ohhhh
Geographic location of the bug:  ORAN PARK nsw
Date: 03/03/2019
Time: 06:14 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hay bug man. I’m hoping you can tell me what sort of bug this guy or gal is. Found it out the back today and have never screen one before
How you want your letter signed:  Curious mummy

Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Curious Mummy,
This is a Hornworm, the larva of a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  We are confident it is the Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth Caterpillar which is pictured on Butterfly House and on FlickR.  Do you have a gardenia growing near the sighting?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s in the eggplant patch?
Geographic location of the bug:  Brisbane, Australia (inner city)
Date: 02/15/2019
Time: 01:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
These bugs have been in my eggplant patch for some time now. I am still getting eggplants so they don’t seem too harmful, but no one knows what they are! They can fly, but they seem to prefer walking. I once counted 30 in the patch.
Location: Brisbane, Australia. Time: Summer. Maybe relevant this is in a fifth floor balcony garden. There are plenty of bugs in the garden overall, but these ones seem to have a monopoly on the eggplant.
How you want your letter signed:  The Curious Eggplant Grower

Mango Flower Beetles

Dear Curious Eggplant Grower,
You had us with your subject line:  What’s in the eggplant patch?
These are Scarab Beetles and we are inclined to speculate they are in the Fruit and Flower Chafer subfamily Cetoniinae.  We are continuing research; we just wanted you to know where to begin your own research.
There seems to be a considerable amount of variation in color and markings on the Mango Flower Beetle,
Protaetia fusca, pictured on the Brisbane Insect site, but though none exactly matches the warm golden-bronze color of the individuals you submitted, we nonetheless believe that species is correct.
Based on the images and the statement “Elytra of male with apical spines, female lacking spines” posted on the Hawaiian Scarab ID site, the individual on the right in your image, with the spines on the posterior ends of the elytra or wing covers, is a male.  The site also states:  “In Australia, both adults and larvae are found throughout the year. Females deposit as many as 147 eggs in humus during their 6–7 month adult lifespans. Larvae feed on organic materials within the soil rather than live plant roots and reached maturity in roughly 50 days. Natural enemies include wasps (
Scolia spp.) that attack larvae, a variety of birds, and Aspergillus fIavus (a fungus that sometimes infects adults).”
We have been getting numerous comments lately from Australia regarding the Blue Flower Wasp, an Australian Scoliid Wasp, indicating they have plentiful prey, the larvae of Scarab Beetles.

Thanks so much! I think you are on the money!
Although, I am a little fascinated they are just sticking to the eggplants, and ignoring the other delights, such as the mango tree!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Colourful fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Oak Beach qld
Date: 02/14/2019
Time: 09:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Spotted this beautiful fly.  First time I have seen one like this.  Just wondering what it is
How you want your letter signed:  Rhonda

Tachinid Fly

Dear Rhonda,
This is a parasitic Tachinid Fly, and according to BugGuide:  “Larval stages are parasitoids of other arthropods; hosts include members of 11 insect orders, centipedes, spiders, and scorpions. Some tachinids are very host-specific, others parasitize a wide variety of hosts. The most common hosts are caterpillars. Some tachinids deposit their eggs directly on the body of their host, and it is not uncommon to see caterpillars with several tachinid eggs on them. Upon hatching the larva usually burrows into its host and feeds internally. Full-grown larva leaves the host and pupates nearby.”  Your individual resembles this colorful Tachinid Fly from New Guinea.  The Museums Victoria Collection has a similar looking individual identified in the genus Rutilia.  This Rutilia species on FlickR also looks similar, but not exactly correct.  The Brisbane Insect site has images of several species in the genus Rutilia, and we believe the genus is correct, but we are not certain of the species.  Tachinid Flies are called Bristle Flies in Australia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  very large fly/ wasp. Jan 2019
Geographic location of the bug:  North Sydney
Date: 02/02/2019
Time: 12:43 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi
This bug had gathered quite a crowd as it sat on the pavement (dead or close to) owing to its size. About 4 cm long, but as you can see from the photo also very fat. Sent friend the photo and he said it is a horsefly, but it seems this one is much much larger and the head doesn’t look right for a horsefly.
How you want your letter signed:  Steve F

Double Drummer

Dear Steve,
This is neither a Fly nor a Wasp, but you are not the first person who has submitted an image of a Cicada to our site thinking it was a giant fly.  Australia has much diversity when it comes to Cicadas, and the sounds that Cicadas produce make them familiar to many folks because of the sound and not because they have been observed.  Australians have also come up with some very creative common names for Cicadas, and your individual appears to be a Double Drummer,
Thopa saccata, which is pictured on the Brisbane Insect site where it states:  “Double Drummer Cicadas are the largest cicadas in Australia. They make loudest sound in the insect world. They are brown to orange-brown in colours with black pattern. On each side of the males’ abdomen there are the small pockets, the double drums, which are used to amplify the sound they produce. Females do not have the double drums but with longer abdomen tip.   Those large cicadas may not be seen easily because they usually stay on tree top. However, we always know they were there by hearing their loud songs. Their song is loud, piercing, chainsaw-like whine, which fluctuates smoothly in pitch. Singing occurs throughout the day and also at dusk in summer season.”

Many thanks Daniel.
What a wonderful service.
Best regards.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bright Green beetle, dark blue legs and orange head.
Geographic location of the bug:  Mitcham Victoria Australia
Date: 01/30/2019
Time: 11:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you identify this beetle? I would be very great full if you can.
How you want your letter signed:  Yours truly  Andrea King

Female Golden Stag Beetle

This is a marvelous image of what we believe is a female Golden Stag Beetle, Lamprima aurata, that we identified thanks to the Museums Victoria Collections site where it is described as:  “Body oval and shiny. Colour varies; green, red, blue or purple all over body. Males have larger bodies and larger jaws (mandibles) than females. Body up to 3 cm long, usually 1.5 – 2.5 cm.”   FlickR includes a really beautiful image, and according to Encyclopedia of Life:  ” is relatively common throughout Australia, and fairly variable in coloration, so has been given many names by various authors. Females are smaller than the males, and males have the mandibles enlarged and prolonged forwards. The colour of the males is typically metallic golden green or golden yellow, while females may be blue, blue-green or also dull brown.”  Your inquiry is perfectly timed to be our Bug of the Month for February 2019.

Hi Daniel,
That is marvellous.  Just wondering if I can have my name on it instead of ‘yours truly’ as I didn’t know what was meant by ‘how would you like it signed’.  Also does it cost to register on the site?
Kind regards
Andrea King

Hi Andrea,
There is no charge to register on WTB?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  ID help please
Geographic location of the bug:  Melbourne, Australia
Date: 01/30/2019
Time: 07:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
We’ve had a heatwave here in Australia lately and a big increase in the suburban biting/sucking bug population. I found the one in the first image on my 2 year old daughter’s arm at breakfast, and subsequently found head lice on her scalp. It seems large (3mm) and very dark for a head louse, and I’m hoping to distinguish it from body lice (generalised itching in the household may well be psychosomatic of course!) I don’t think it’s a bed bug but would appreciate any input.
The second image is of a tiny (2mm x 2mm), round, shiny beetle I think, found on outdoor sofa. Could this be a type of ladybug as it seems very round?
The third was found on cot mattress while changing linen during lice treatment, it’s the most worrying given its location and I’ve no idea what it is. Measures 3mm long by 1mm wide.
My apologies for the image quality, all collected in tape before I found your site.
Many thanks in anticipation of some peace of mind,
How you want your letter signed:  Amanda


Dear Amanda,
The critter in your first image is definitely a Louse.  Though it is a North American site, BugGuide differentiates Head Lice from Body Lice by designating different subspecies of the Human Louse,
Pediculus humanusPenn State has a nice fact sheet on Lice.  We cannot make out enough details in image three and we will address 2 in a different response.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination