Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Down Under"

Help in Identifying a bug
Hi, my name is Jonathan Tindal and I need help to indentify an insect. I live in Australia (Adelaide) and Iv’e never seen an insect like this before. I got lots of Photos (5 mega pixel) but a lot turned out a bit blurry; but I will send you the best one attached below. It has the back of a wasp with 2 stingers, 2 antennas, ant nippers, little claws like a crab and small wings. I checked Austrlaia’s csiro but can’t find it. Your help would be appreciated Thank you
Jonathan Tindal

Hi Jonathan,
Nice to know there are Mole Crickets down under. These subterranean dwellers are also capable of flight, and they are excellent diggers.

What’s this bug….please?
Hi Bugman,
We (my son) have found a heap of bugs roaming around the property. We would like to know what they are and what they are doing? They appeared after a large storm event and are just walking around everywhere. My dog also ate some. I will let you know if the dog dies 🙂 Thanks for any info…
Anthony (and Daemon)

Hi Anthony and Daemon,
These are some species of Roach, but we didn’t recognize them. We found a matching photo on BugGuide, but with no information. We wrote to Eric Eaton, and here is his response: “Depends on where they are. If this image is from Florida, it is probably of the broad Keys roach, Hemiblabera tenebricosa. If they smelled really bad, then maybe they are the stinking cockroach, Eurycotis floridana, found from Mississippi to Florida and Georgia. Without examining the specimens I can’t rule out other possibilities, including nymphs of other roaches, but if they were over 30 mm, then the above two possibilities are best. Eric” We wish you had included a location which is one of the things we request.

Correction (06/11/2006)
mystery roaches
The Mystery roaches on your page are most likely the heaviest roaches in the world. The photographer is almost certainly from Australia if he got these in the wild. These beauties are Macropanesthia rhinoceros, or the Rhinoceros cockroach, in the family Blaberidae. I’ll send you a picture of some specimens I photographed in the LA County Museum (as well as a photo of a specimen of the longest roach Megaloblatta longipennis). These guys are monsters in real life, but live a pretty calm 10 years or more eating Eucalyptus litter.
Paul Lenhart
University of Texas at El Paso

Unidentified Southern California Spider
My name is Susan, and I have been unsuccessful in determining if the spider in my back yard (see attached photo) has a name or is poisonous. It seems very healthy and well fed, and I’d really rather not kill it, though it scares me and I’m not to thrilled about it multiplying…… Any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.
Susan Castang
Torrance, CA

Hi Susan,
If it wasn’t for that distinctive white stripe, I would have just said you had a harmless generic Orb Weaver, but I thought I would do some web research. I found a site that pictures your spider, and that site originates in Australia. The spider is identified as Eriophora transmarina and was originally Araneus transmarinus. It is still a Garden Orb-Weaver. The site goes on to say that there are many color variations in the species and the white stripe is just one of them. We also have many spiders from this genus in California, as well as related genus Neoscona. They are sometimes very difficult to distinguish from one another. Here are a few possible scenarios for your spider. It is Eriophora transmarina which was introduced from Australia like the Eucalyptus Tree Borer, or it is a native Araneus that also happen to have color variations. Either way, it poses no threat to you and you should let it proliferate in your yard. It will help control flying pests like mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus.

beautiful tennessee spider
This is actually a re-posting* so I can provide more information in hopes that you’ll be able to identify this beauty. Picture was taken June 11, 2005, in Crossville, TN (Cumberland Plateau area) in a wooded area. The spider’s body is very shiny black, hairless and a little smaller than dime. I’ve looked everywhere on the web and can’t seem to find it. The Australian Red-back comes close, but what would that be doing in Tennessee?? Hopefully, you can solve this mystery.
Melinda Z
*I showed the picture at a friendly gathering last night and in the heat of the moment, my friend sent you the picture without much info. We all really want to know what kind of spider this is!

Hi Melinda,
Over the years we have gotten letter describing a spider that looked like a Black Widow but with hearts on its back. Yours is the first photo we have received substantiating this. Of course, it does look exactly like a Black Widow, but we could find no information on the Heart shaped markings. So, when in doubt, we wrote to Eric Eaton. Here is his response: “This is indeed a black widow, the Southern Black Widow, Latrodectus mactans. Many females have red markings on the top of the abdomen like this. The hourglass mark is on the UNDERSIDE, so apparently the folks who say there is no hourglass hadn’t looked at the belly of the beast:-) Additionally, Northern Black Widows, L. variolus, have a broken hourglass on the belly, and often red stripes and spots on the back. They are generally smaller than other widow species. Lastly, widows begin as WHITE spiderlings with various darker markings. As they age they darken, but may retain several red markings. Older individuals may have few if any markings other than the hourglass. Female widows may easily live two or more years in the wild. Hope this clarifies. Eric”

Thanks for the quick response. It’s a black widow after all: southern bell!!

What is this?
Came across your website when trying to identify this “nest” found in a nature reserve in South Australia . Is it a wasp nest? Anything you can tell me would be appreciated.

Our first guess would be a Crayfish (or Crawfish or Clawfish or Crawdad) Burrow, but it is shaped differently than the ones we see stateside. I would also guess possibly a termite mound.

What about this bug that I found on my living room floor, in Perth, Australia?
Paul M Bartley

Hi Paul,
You have some species of Weevil, Family Curculionidae, the largest Family of Beetles. They are plant pests. Sorry, I can’t be more specific.

Update: 29 November 2008
Since our site migration last summer, we have had much work to do reclassifying old postings from our archives. Since this entry was originally posted, we have identified this unusual Australian Weevil as an Elephant Weevil, Orthorhinus cylindrirostris . Substantiating photos can be found on the Brisbane Insect Site and an Australian Forestry Images Website.