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

What is this???
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this thing. It killed a smallish huntsman it was outside my house in Melbourne, Australia on a day when it was 39 degrees Celsius. It freaked us out!!!!!! Please help. It has a real big nasty stinger on its rear end as well. Thanks

Hi Ross,
Yours is the third photo we have gotten in the past month of a Spider Wasp, Cryptocheilus bicolor, with a Huntsman Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Australian bug
These pictures are of a bug which was found in my courtyard in the Blue Mountains, Australia. It was only about 2 cm in length. I have been trying to keep a record of the different wildlife which live in my backyard, something which started last year as a school project, but have been unsuccessful in identifying this creature. Can you help? Best Wishes

Hi Petah,
We have tried to identify this Wingless Fly, but sadly, we had no luck. We are checking if Eric Eaton has any clues. Here is Eric’s revelation: “I have no idea what the wingless fly is, but it would appear it once ‘did’ have wings, and they were torn off at some point. That is a pity, as wing venation patterns are of the greatest help in identifying flies!”

Update: (09/20/2007) forwarded through Eric Eaton
I have a second question, how to get in contact with the people from “Whats that bug”? They had a pic of a Unknown Mutilated Wingless Australian Fly (01/13/2007) Australian bug And this turns out to be a Stratiomyidae, Boreoides subulatus, the females are always wingsless and it looks not even close to something we know here in the USA as a strat. It is out of the strange subfamily Chiromyzinae and this is an only Southern continent group. Only one species is introduced to Cal as a pest… So maybe you can email the people and give them the answer to their question. Also further down they have an Acrocerid as a Bombyliidae and a suspected “Mallota” which is a Merodon equestris. Looking forward to see your book! Cheers

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Monarch Butterfly with wings fully spread
Hi Daniel,
Since my Geneva, Illinois garden is quite dead at this time of year, I enjoy going to your website to view all of the beautiful garden visitors from around the world. I noticed, that although you have many pictures of Monarch butterflies on your site, you don’t have a good picture of one with its wings fully spread. This past summer I was finally able to get a shot of a Monarch in full wing spread, and thought you might like a copy for your files. Thanks,

Hi Doris,
Thanks for your wonderful photo, a welcome addition to our archives. As you realize, now that winter is upon us, many of our recent postings are from Australia. We have two Australian Hemipterans to post from yesterday, but we couldn’t resist your kind letter and beautiful photo of a male Monarch Butterfly.

I’m glad that you like the picture. It was not easy to obtain. Monarchs do not keep their wings spread for very long — not more than a few seconds. I had to use the sports mode on my camera, which takes numerous pictures in rapid succession. It took many monarch visits, and hundreds of shutter clicks to get the perfect shot. I am happy that I was able to contribute to your great site. Thanks,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

found dead in our garden
What kind of beatle is it? It is about 18mm long. Never seen anything like it. Hope you can tell me. With kind regards
Knut Neumann

Hi Knut,
Luckily we remembered identifying the Australian Fiddler Beetle in the past, and we quickly confirmed the identification. We like to get at least a continent regarding specimen location.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cricket for lunch?
Hi Mr. Bugman,
I’m at it again, I tried your link you suggested but this wasp is bucking the Huntsman trend. Is it the Cryptocheilus bicolour again please? For someone who has been badly bitten by a Whitetail spider I still love my ‘bugs’. My husband took this in our spring, fairly cool day by our standards and the wasp totally ignored us. Cheers,
Halls Head, Western Australia

Hi Karen,
This is most definitely not the Spider Wasp, Cryptocheilus bicolor. Not only is the coloration wrong, the species, like many wasps, is very host specific. This is one of the Sphecid Hunting Wasps. Our sources indicate that most Sphecid Wasps can sting painfully, but they are not aggressive. We have located online mention of a Grasshopper Hunting Wasp in Australia known as Podalonia tydei suspiciosa (Smith, 1856), but cannot locate a photo. We checked the Geocities site under Sphecid Wasps, and found images of Sphex cognatus, a Digger Wasp that preys upon Crickets and Grasshoppers. We are not certain that is your wasp, but it is possible. So, we are certain this is a Sphecid Wasp, but are inconclusive regarding species. Nonetheless, it is a very impressive photo. Eric Eaton wrote in the this addition: “The wasp stinging the grasshopper is indeed a sphecid, can’t tell what genus from that angle, but suspect Prionyx. Eric”

Hi Mr. Bugman,
Halls Head, Western Australia calling again…. Does this pic help Eric id our wasp? You mentioned it could possibly be Prionyx. This was taken from a slightly different angle minus his/her cricket. Thanks once again. Cheers

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination