Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Down Under"
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Praying Mantid
Hey! I’m Kim (15 yrs) from Australia, NSW Wagga Wagga, and I was looking through bug identification sites, and yours is way the best! My Mum knows I’m nuts about insects and she found me this praying mantis in our outside cat’s basket on the pillow. I have never seen anything like this one before, maybe it’s using this as a disguise to be like an ant or a spider? Maybe it eats fleas? It also does this very weird yet interesting thing with it’s fore-legs, it does this circular motion with both arms a little apart doing it at the same time. Here’s a couple of photos of him. Sorry if they are not very clear, my digital camera does not have a macro lense, and she (or he, though I think it’s a she) won’t stop moving! It is 1.3 centimetres long, and the abdomen is approximetly 4mm at it’s largest point. Hope you can identify it! Thanks!
From Kim

Hi Kim,
Thanks for the compliment. Because your letter was so nice, we have been obsessed with properly identifying your Boxer Bark Mantid in the genus Paraoxypilus. The Geocities site states: ” The male and female of Boxer Bark Mantid species Paraoxypilus are markedly dissimilar to each other. The male is winged, slender and a little longer in body length. They have the cryptic colours and hard to be seen on bark. They colour patterns may be different for individual. … The Boxer Bark Mantids that we found are wingless, so they should be females (male is winged and with slender body, see below). They have long legs and holding their front pair of legs in ‘boxing’ display as most other praying mantids. Like some other praying mantids, they also have colour patches on their inner forelegs. The Boxer Bark Mantids have the orange ones. It is believed this is a territorial display to space out individuals of the same species. They can be found hunting on the rough bark gum tree trunk. They are usually not moving, but runs very fast when disturbed.” Since your specimen is wingless and not slender, we believe she is female as you presumed. Your description of the foreleg movements also supports the “boxing” description.

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Australian bird shit caterpillar
Hi Bugman,
I am no entomologist but I like science and looking at it I was thinking: What is that? A bird shit caterpillar !!! Wow, how darwinian !? Searching on the net I discover you have the same in Kansas… I thought you’d be interested to know that we have the equivalent in Australia living on our lemon tree, it’s the citrus thing that triggered my interest. Two bugs adopting the same mimicry eating the same kind of leaves…? It’s more than just a case of co-evolution. And I suspect the butterfly associated to this caterpillar is this gorgeous one that goes up and down and up and down in the hot summer afternoon in our backyard. I have a pic somewhere I’ll try to find it if you are interested. On the pic the caterpillar is in a defensive position, normally the pointy bits are not erected and it looks just like a bird poo. New years greetings from Oz
Olivier Bruge & Peter Young

Hi Olivier and Peter,
Your caterpillar is a Citrus Swallowtail or Orchard Swallowtail, Papilio aegeus. The Butterflies of Australia website has images of the caterpillars and the adults. Your caterpillar is an early instar, and the coloration will change with subsequent molts. We would love to get a photo of the adult butterfly if you are able to send one.

Down under Papilio Aegeus !
Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for your answer. Here is the pic of the butterfly I was very happy to know that my huntch was right. I love the idea that this beautiful insect comes out of a big poo!! It’s a great evolutionary version of Andersen’s “hugly duckling”. … Have a g’day (as we say here)
Olivier Bruge,
Canberra, Australia.

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Can You help
What is this fellow please…..He was on the south coast of NSW on a headland in amongst Banksia, grasses, ferns and she oak on Burri Point near Batemans Bay. Thanks,
Warren Feakes

Hi Warren,
This is a Weevil, a type of Beetle. The markings resemble those of a Botany Bay Weevil, though in your photo they appear white and not pale blue. It might be a color variation, or just an inaccurate rendition of the photographic image, or possibly a different species.

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Scary Hissing Bug!
We this bug land in our swimming pool on the weekend. We weren’t able to get many good photo’s but these few have the most coverage. My partner picked it up to remove it from the pool and just before putting it down in the garden, it tried to take a chunk out of him….! Can you please help us find out what type of flying bug this is, I’ve looked on a couple of websites but can not find any pictures of it. 2 of us think it may be some kind of locust…?? It was outside in the pot plant then by the end of the night it was in the laundry, although I’m unable to locate it at the moment I’m sure he will come out of somewhere when I’m not suspecting it..! It would be greatly appreciated if you could help. Cheers,
Elle & Mark

Hi Elle and Mark,
For now, all we can tell you is that this is an Orthopteran, the order that includes grasshoppers, katydids and crickets. It is a female, as evidenced by the large spikelike ovipositor. Now comes the big question. Where are you located??????? There is a family, Anostostomatidae, of primitive insects found in New Zealand known as Weta, and there are some similarities. The hissing and aggressive posture are indicative of Weta, but Weta are wingless. This is probably some species of Long Horned Grasshopper or Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae. The last time we tried to email Eric Eaton, the communique did not go through. We will see if he has an opinion here. Here is what Eric thinks: “That is a female katydid of some kind, probably neotropical, and probably predacious, as are many katydids with strong jaws and heavy spines on the front legs.”

Thank you so much for replying so soon. We are in Perth, Western Australia. I’ve never seen this type of bug/insect before, but he was huge..! Where do these things usually reside? as they are so big we thought we would have seen it before. He kept making a hissing sound that was loud enough to hear from about 4 foot away..! Feisty little fellow..!!! Thanking you in advance.
Elle & Mark

Hi again Elle and Mark,
Thanks for the location. Eric Eaton says a Predaceous female Katydid but does not know the species. A quick web search did not give us a conclusive answer.

Update: (07/03/2008) Katydid IDs from Piotr Naskrecki
I have been looking at the page with unidentified katydids (Katydids 2), and thought I could help with some ID’s. From top to bottom they are: Australian “katydid” – not a katydid but Gryllacrididae, unknown species

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What’s this bug?
Merry Xmas!
Just wondered if you could identify this beetle seen a month ago in the Royal National Park just south of Sydney. Is it a Jewel Beetle? Many thanks for any help you can offer. Best regards
Jon Cornish

Hi Jon,
This in not a Beetle. It is a Hemipteran in the family Pentatomidae, the Stink Bugs. It is an immature specimen which makes species identification more difficult. Many Stink Bugs have bright metallic coloration and we found a page that identifies a similar looking specimen as being in the family Scutelleridae which are called Jewel Bugs in Australia.

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sawfly larvae
Dear Bugman,
I thought you might like to see this interesting photo of sawfly larvae (Long Tailed Sawfly?) eating a Spotted Gum leaf from both sides! They were in our backyard on the East Coast of NSW Australia. (Spotted Gum used to be a Eucalypt, but it has been reclassified as Corymbia maculata, which doesn’t sound nearly as interesting).

Hi again Grev,
Thanks for sending us your humorous Sawfly Larvae image. This social feeding pattern is seen in other Sawflies as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination