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Some spiders and a ?
We have lots of spiders in our garden – some quite large and easy to find, others not seen often. Tent Spider (top and bottom of same spider), and it’s web.

Tent Spider dorsal viewTent Spider ventral view

[What] seems to be a Grey House Spider, 2cm long and
(12cm legspan) Net Casting Spider?

Grey House SpiderNet Casting Spider

I used the Queensland Museum website to help identify some of them.

Thanks for sending in your images Robert, and also for doing all the research.

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Hello – afraid i’m back again
Hello Bugman
The last time I had an identification problem you were kind enough and able to help (A Bee Assassin Bug) – This time it’s the largest Cicada I have ever seen! It’s overall length is 90mm and body length is 50mm. I have chased all the cicada sites I can find and while I think it may be a "Black Prince" I have not been able to find a pix that identifies it. I don’t like bothering you but if you can identify it off the top of your head I’d sure appreciate it – If not please don’t go to any trouble, it’s not life or death!. Hope you and yours have a great Christmas, we are enjoying a hot one at 36deg C.
Best regards
Keith Power
Toowoomba Qld

Merry Christmas to you as well Keith.
We were curious to give you some statistics of relative size of Cicadas worldwide as we have seen some enormous mounted specimens. Wikipedia provided the following information: “Adult cicadas, sometimes called imagines , are usually between 2 and 5 cm (1 to 2 inches ) long, although there are some tropical species that reach 15 cm (6 in), e.g. the Pomponia imperatoria from Malaysia.” In that sense, your cicada is an average sized Cicada. We have located a Scribbly Gum site dedicated to Australian Cicadas and there are many interesting colorful common names. The site does picture the Black Prince, and it is not your cicada.

Update (02/06/2006):
Cicada from Toowoomba
Dear Sir,
Some of your Aussie cicadas may be identified from the book “Australian Cicadas” by MS Moulds (NSW Uni Press, 1990) and available on www.abebooks listings. The largest Australian species is Thopha saccata (“double drummer”) which was the photo posted by Keith from Toowoomba on 24th Dec 2005. There are around 8 other cicada species from the Toowoomba area.

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Fluoro green bug from Australia, or is it?
Attached to this email is a photo of an unidentified insect beside some coins for size reference. I found this bug below my sink. I am from the south east coast of Australia and I am curious to know:
1. Is this insect venomous/dangerous (stings, itches, etc, possible cause of bed bugs? If so… Its a wonder I haven’t missed them the first time!). As you can see by the pics its is fluoro green in color with black spots. Perhaps like many of the insect life on the Australian east coast, maybe its one of those insects that have this black spotty coat to warn predators of itself? Would slightly than normal summer temperatures be bringing this insect to our doorstep, or would any of the garden plants we have here in our backyard be attracting it? The temperatures we have been experiencing recently have reached around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (30+ degrees Celsius) you see.
2. Is it an Australian native insect? If it isn’t I will strongly consider destroying it, seeing that native flora and fauna has enough trouble trying to cope with many introduced species, and finally… 3. …why are it’s legs still slowly moving!? We have recently scattered some insect poison around the toilet floor to kill some roaches. This insect seemed to have been affected, as it seemed lifeless, at first. It seems though to be sort of waking up, as if it was recovering from a hangover or something! (yipes!)
Please respond when you can.
Joe Baez

Hi Joe,
This is a Botany Bay Weevil which we located on an Australian Beetle Site. According to the site: “the Botany Bay weevil Chrysolopus spectabilis – up to 25 mm long – is active at this time of the year feeding on acacias. Despite the name, it lives right throughout south east Australia. The Botany Bay Weevil, was one of the first Australian insects to be described from material collected in 1770 by Joseph Banks, a naturalist who landed at Botany Bay with Captain Cook.” So it does not sting or bite. It is native. The acacias are attracting it and we have no comment on poison.

To whom it may concern at WhatsThatBug.
My father and I have set the Botany Bay weevil free. As soon as took it out of the pouch i was keeping it in, it wiggled all its limbs and slowly crawled away! Talk about a miracle of Christmas! 😀 Thanks heaps for the advice, and I’ll be sure to refer your site to others.
Joe Baez.

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Scary Australian bug
I saw your site listed as a Bonzer site on This Is True a little while back. When my wife found this terrifying bug last night, I immediately thought of you in trying to identify it. My wife went to the loo last night and saw this thing sitting on the top of the doorframe. She exited as quickly as possible and called me. After about ten minutes of spirited discussion we summoned up the courage (and tools) necessary to approach it. I took the first photo after we’d managed to knock it on to the toilet floor. After that I took it outside, emptied it from the container we’d captured it in and executed it. I took the second photo this afternoon, just so that you could see the bottom of this creature in case it helps with identification. I’ve failed to identify it from anything I could see on your website. I had a look on BugGuide, and I’m *guessing* that it fits in the subclass Apterygota. I live in Lauderdale, Tasmania, Australia. The bug is roughly 4cm from the head to the end of its abdomen, and the terrifying spike thing on the back adds almost another 2cm. I’m not sure whether I want you to tell me that it’s dangerous, and that I’m therefore justified in killing it, or that it’s harmless so I can sleep at night without worrying that more will turn up. We found a dried up husk on our front porch which obviously belonged to one of these, so we know there are more around. Anyway, I hope you like the pictures, and I hope you can tell me what it is!

Hi John,
We can assure you this gal was perfectly harmless. It looks to us like a Weta, a primitive Orthopteran that is endangered in New Zealand. There are close relatives in South Africa and Australia, and the North American relatives are the Potato Bugs. In New Zealand, the Giant Wetas can grow to 8 inches. Here is the Wikipedia page with more information.

Update:  February 1, 2014
This is a female King Cricket, Australostoma australasia.

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burrow id??
Would you pls be able to take a guess at what lives in this burrow??? I live in Victoria [Australia] and this hole was found in [my garden. I pour water down the hole and it is rebuilt the next day.]

Hi Kelly,
WE cannot give you anything conclusive. Because of the silk, we are inclined to guess a spider.

Thanks. I now have the occupant of the burrow. Would you know how I go about having it identified???
Many thanks,

Hi Kelly,
This is some species of Tarantula. They often live in burrows. We would love to post your original burrow photo which we seem to have misplaced. Could you please resend it. We located a great website by Steve Nunn devoted to Australian Tarantulas.

Hi Daniel,
I sent the pics to another gentleman and here is his reply…
“Dear Kelly,
Living in Queensland my knowledge of Victorian spiders is not as good as it is of Queensland ones. However, your spider is definitely a primitive spider (i.e. a mygalomorph) and appears to be a Chenistonia species. In Queensland the equivalent spider is Namea salanitri which also places a sheet web over its burrow entrance during the day. Your spider has a size not much smaller than a funnel-web but its venom is not considered to be particularly dangerous to humans unlike funnel-web venom. If there are more in the back yard, leave them there. They are unlikely to do you any harm although the males may come above ground in the breeding season (which I suspect will be autumn for this species) and may surprise you.
Ron Atkinson
USQ CRICOS No. 00244B”
Are you sure it’s a type of Tarantula? Do they have burrows??? If you can provide any further info I would be grateful. Regards, Kelly

Hi Kelly,
We would always defer to the local expert. We can tell you though that Tarantulas are considered Mygalomorphs. They are, as Ron states, primitive spiders. Mygalomorphs include not only Tarantulas, but also Trapdoor Spiders and Purseweb Spiders.

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Fiddler Beetle
What a great site!!
I came across it while I was searching for a name to put to this lovely beetle I found wandering across my living room carpet one afternoon – the cat was eyeing it off as a snack so I rescued it. From the beetles’ odour, general and mandible morphology I guessed that it might be a eucalypt blossom eater (Gum tree flowers have a distinctive honey/eucalyptus smell) and sure enough, he/she took to a sprig I picked for it like it was candy. So I took photos and released it in native scrubland. The last I saw, it was happily scurrying under a nice damp rotting log. Anyhow, the Australian Museum was kind enough to help me identify it as a Fiddler Beetle, Eupoecila australasiae, but I could not help but share this beautiful creature with you and your readers.
Sydney, Australia

Hi Ruth,
Thank you so much for sending in your photo and letter. We got another image of a Fiddler Beetle a few weeks ago, and couldn’t possitively identify it, so we just gave it the generic name of Scarab Beetle, a reference to the Family.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination