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Iridescent Christmas Beetle from Australia
November 3, 2009
Hi, I’ve seen some recent posts about the brownish Christmas Beetles. Here are some photos of a gorgeous bright green beetle rescued from our swimming pool last summer. We always called these ones Christmas Beetles as kids (ignored the bworn ones), they were highly sought-after. The CSIRO site is fabulous if you know which bit of a beetle is which http://anic.ento.csiro.au/insectfamilies/, but I wouldn’t know a notoplural suture if it bit me (perhaps it has). Can you help? Thanks
Elizabeth
Melbourne, Australia (southeastern seaboard)

Golden Green Stag Beetle

Stag Beetle

Dear Elizabeth,
WE aren’t certain, but we don’t believe this is a Christmas Beetle.  We don’t even think it is a Scarab Beetle.  We actually believe it is a Stag Beetle.  We found some matches on a BunyipCo Stag Beetle site.  A Lamprima species looks very close, and there is another image entitled “minor” male King Stag Beetle that also looks close.  Searching Lamprima brought us to the Brisbane Insect website, and a species called the Golden Green Stag Beetle, Lamprima latreillii, and we are happy with that as an identification.  It is also depicted on the Csiro website.

Golden Green Stag Beetle

Conflicting Opinion:  Rainbow Stag Beetle or King Stag Beetle
Hi
This beetle is a Phalacrognathus Muelleri, commonly known as rainbow or king stag beetle. Both of the picture show females. plenty of info on web about these a commonly kept, i have a breeding pair at moment. hope this helps
Dixiedoo2

Dear Dixiedoo2,
Thanks for the differing opinion.  Interestingly, the Bunyipco Stag Beetle site did not identify the King Stag Beetle by its scientific name.  The Insect Company website has an image of a pair with this information:  “This is possibly the most attractive of all the Stag Beetles with it’s irridescent green sheen. It is not a common beetle in the North Australian Rain Forest where it lives. The females lay their eggs in very specific types of rotten timber on the forest floor. Specimens will occasionally come to ultra violet lights just after dusk. The hour just after dusk seems to be this insects main flight time.”
Those interested in raising this lovely beetle may want to reference the InsectaCulture Breeding Report we found online.  YouTube has a video of the beetles in the wild.

Update from Elizabeth
Dear bugpersons,
hi, I’m having trouble navigating the WTB comments section hence the reply email.
First, thanks for the ID on my not-a-Christmas-beetle.  I was thrilled to see it up on the site and really impressed that you could work out so quickly it was not at all what I have always thought it was.  I think you are right and the beastie is (was) a Golden Green Stag Beetle.  Dixiedoo2 is wrong: (1) it was found in Melbourne, not the Far North Queensland rainforest, and as I have seen a fair number of them down here in my lifetime it’s a bit hard to think they were all lost.  (2) They’re common enough for southern schoolkids to know about them, P. Muelleri is described as rare.  (3)  I saw the damn thing and had it clinging to my finger for fifteen minutes.  It did not look anything like any photo I’ve found of either a male or a female Phalacrognathus Muelleri.  It looked a heck of a lot like the images of golden-green stag beetles I found on the web after your reply.  (4) It was approx 15-20mm long, not the 24-45mm cited by various sites for female length.  (5) Colouration was light iridescent goilden-green, dame texture on thorax and back. P. Muelleri looks like it can be quite dark and has a pinkish tinge to its carapace; the throrax is dull and the back extremely shiny.  (6) Mandibles of female P. muelleri are squat and thick, on the specimen I found they were slender.
BTW the photos are of the same animal, once on my hand immediately after rescue and once after release on a tree, so of course both show a beetle of the same gender, whatever that is. This is pretty clear if you lok at the water droplets visible in each photo.
Thankyou.  I feel better now.
Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth,
Thanks for all the additional information, and we are sorry the comment option on our website is problematic.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

rhino or coleoptera type beetle.
November 2, 2009
found in october, flying around the light, middle of the Daintree rainforest. as you can see he/she was quite big.
emmitted a squeaking sound when provoked and sounded like a mini helicopter while flying haha.
i’ve named it george. and i’m of to the pub, it seems quite happy on my shoulder for now.
Matt
cape tribulation australia QLD

Female Rhinoceros Beetle

Female Rhinoceros Beetle

Hi Matt,
We would recommend changing George’s name to Georgina since we believe she is a female Rhinoceros Beetle, Xylotrupes gideon.  You can view a pair on the Natural Worlds website.  This common Southeast Asian species is also found in Northern Australia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Some sort of Hymenoptera from Tasmania, Aus.
October 31, 2009
On a recent trip to the apple isle (Tasmania) my girlfriend and I snapped this little beauty. I found it crawling around in the sand at the boundary between a beach and dry sclerophyll in Freycinet National park on the east coast. It looks terribly vicious but it didn’t seem to mind being picked up. This was in January which means mid summer in Australia. (although it doesn’t get real hot in Tasmania)
Hope that info is enough to narrow it down.
Thanks guys!
Jish from Newcastle
Freycinet national park, Tasmania, Australia

Wingless Flower Wasp from Tasmania

Wingless Flower Wasp from Tasmania

Hi Jish,
We located some images on the Brisbane Insect Website of wingless female Flower Wasps in the family Tiphiidae, but the patters were nothing like your specimen.  We doubted our research, and requested assistance from Eric Eaton.  He quickly responded.  Seems we overlooked the image when we searched.

Wingless Flower Wasp from Tasmania

Wingless Flower Wasp from Tasmania

Daniel:
It is a wingless female wasp in the family Tiphiidae, possibly genus Catocheilus, as I found on the “Brisbane Insects” website.  Neat find, great image!
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Web spinning huntsman
October 26, 2009
Web spinning huntsman
We get these around outside and inside our house (Queensland, Australia.) They look like male huntsman spiders, and are more active at night, but they also weave massive webs from time to time (between trees) with a very thick fiber. This one came out of my downpipe this morning and bit my arm, self defence I expect, the bite is not serious, just two red dots. Card is in the photo for scale, its the size of a regular credit card.
Dylan
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Giant Gray Huntsman Spider

Gray Huntsman Spider

Hi Dylan,
We are nearly certain this is a Giant Gray Huntsman Spider,
Holconia immanis, which we initially identified on the Geocities Brisbane Insect Website.  We continued to search for information once we had the scientific name.  A website called the Australian Natural History Safari Website that appears to be run by individuals as opposed to being associated with a scientific organization indicates “The Grey Huntsman does not build a web and is found along the east coast of Australia. They are most active in the summer months and are often encountered in houses, gardens and forested areas. This spider does not bite readily and if it does the pain is mild and local to the bite area.”  A scientific paper written by Klaus Henle from the 1993 Journal of Arachnology that is posted online indicates:  “Both species are typical sit-and-wait foragers.Adult H. immanis seem to have 1-2 preferredambush sites where most individuals were ob-served on many consecutive nights up to a period of 6 months.”   Another Australian Insect website that cites Henle’s observations indicates:  “Habitat  Huntsman spiders are found throughout the east coast of Australia. They do not build webs, and are usually found under bark or ivy or other such sheltered plants. They can also seek shelter inside houses. Diet  Typically Huntsman spiders are described to be sit-and-wait foragers where they ambush their prey, often choosing favourite ambush sites (Henle, 1993).” The Insects of Townsville, Australia website built by Graeme Cocks has wonderful photographs.  Since all the information we have been able to locate indicates that this species does not build webs, your observations are most interesting.  All spiders can spin silk, but Hunting Spiders generally do not build webs as snares.  If you are able to photograph this species with its web, please send us documentation in a followup email.  It is possible that the Grey Huntsman Spider uses a silken line to move from tree to tree, but that it does not build an actual web.

Gray Huntsman Spider

Thanks Daniel.
I will keep an eye out for any webs. It happens rarely enough that I think it may be a mating or nesting thing. I’ve seen one wrap a palm frond in silk to make a kind of hide, then tie off the frond to our garage gutter. If I ever see it again, I will take some photos.
Cheers,
Dylan Tusler.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What might this be
October 18, 2009
Hi guys,
Been a while, hope all is well your end. Any ideas on this one? The front legs look mantid like. Is it a nymph stage of a mantis of some sort?
Aussietrev
Queensland. Australia

Unknown Australian Hopper

Unknown Australian Hopper

Hi Trevor,
Welcome back.  This appears to be some species of immature hopper, possibly a Fulgoroid.  The front legs remind us of Cicadas, but the head is different.  We searched through many possibilities on the Geocities website of Australian Insects without luck.  We haven’t the time to research the species as we are running late this morning, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide an answer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Orange Asturalian scarab
October 17, 2009
I have seen these beetles often when camping in Cobram, Victoria, Australia.
it didn’t move for at least an hour, i never actually saw it moving other than noticing that it had moved when i was gone. this happened a few times before it disappeared. It has a colour changing sheen (mainly blue and green) depending on the angle you look at it. The beetle itself is orange.
Matt Molloy
Victoria Australia

Christmas Beetle
Christmas Beetle

Hi Matt,
This is one of the Scarab Beetles known as Christmas Beetles in Australia because of their seasonal appearance.  It appears as though it is either Anoplognathus parvulus or a closely related species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination