Currently viewing the tag: "WTB? Down Under"

identify a bug?
hi, i’m just wondering if you could identify this insect from since i was a kid i just called it a stink bug and im wondering if it is or not i have been trying all kinds of searches and i cant seem to find it your welcome to use the picture if you find an interest the seed pods it is photographed on are from a wattle tree or an acacia in south australia along a creek line
thank you

Hi Sandie,
First I must appologize for taking so long to reply. Somehow your letter got lost in the black hole that is our incoming mailbox. You have two bugs, and that is a correct term, in your photo. At the top, partially obscured is a Coreid, or Leaf Footed Bug, called Tip Wilters in Australia. I located a picture on this page that looks like your specimen, identified as a Crusader Bug, Mictis profana. This bug is dark brown in colour and with a diagonal white cross on its back like the Crusader’s shield. Its hind legs are thick and strong. At the bottom is an immature Shield Bug, Family Pentatomidae which we call Stink Bugs in the states. Sorry, we are not familiar with your species for an exact identification. We did locate this great Australian Stink Bug page.

Scary Bug
Could you please help me to identify this bug I have never seen one of these before. It was on our ceiling and was terrifying my young son (unfortunately the bug didn’t survive). It was about one inch long excluding legs and feelers. I would like to be able to tell my son what it is and whether or not it is harmless. We live in San Diego, California.
Thank you,
Caroline Gilbert

Hi Caroline,
The Eucalyptus Tree Borer, Phoracantha semipunctata, is harmless to you, but will do considerable damage to your eucalyptus trees. This insect was introduced to southern California from Australia where it has multiplied due to the absence of natural predators. Young bore into the wood of Eucalyptus trees and have destroyed many stands of this common tree.

bug i found
hey i live in australia [south coast] and i was walking along the beach on the hight tide line when i came across this beetle love to know what it is.I took few pics i dont think it was ment to be on the beach.

Hi Matt,
It is some species of Scarab Beetle from the Family Scarabaeidae. Many species are metallic green in color. They include the largest beetles known. You are correct in speculating the beetle probably did not belong on the beach.

Correction:  December 14, 2016
Thanks to a comment, we now know that this is a King Christmas Beetle,
Anoplognathus viridiaeneus, which is pictured on Australian National Botanic Gardens

Update:  February 1, 2017
We just posted the following comment on a Goldsmith Beetle posting, but it should really be included here:  you most likely encountered a Christmas Beetle in the genus Anoplognathus, possibly the King Christmas Beetle or Giant Christmas Beetle, Anoplognathus viridiaeneus, which is pictured on the Australian National Botanic Gardens site where it states: “This is probably the largest of that section of our insects known as Christmas Beetles. It is common in the bushland around Sydney and the north coast of New South Wales. Essentially a summer insect, it appears on the foliage of eucalyptus trees; where one is found you can be certain there will be others on the same tree.” We are very amused at the (now closed) competition held by the Australian Museum to give common names to nine species formerly known by only scientific names. According to the site: “These beautiful bugs are Aussie icons, heralding the coming of summer and Christmas. You might know the three kinds of Christmas Beetle in New South Wales that have common names: the King Beetle, Queen Beetle and the Washerwoman! But the other nine of the 12 species are known only by their Latin scientific names. So, the Australian Museum has run a competition for NSW residents to give common names to the nine nameless festive beetles. … Common names – unlike the Latin names used by scientists to identify species – are part of the everyday lexicon, so whatever is chosen will exist for generations to come.” On a sadder note, the Australian Museum also has a posting entitled “Where Have All The Christmas Beetles Gone?” where it states: “The evidence suggesting a decline is anecdotal yet compelling. In the 1920s, they were reported to drown in huge numbers in Sydney Harbour, with tree branches bending into the water under the sheer weight of the massed beetles. You won’t see that these days, and I’ve never seen a Christmas beetle come to light where I work, next to Hyde Park. While public concerns suggest that numbers are also much smaller in the suburbs, I’ve found at least five species near my home, clustered around street lights at the southern edge of Royal National Park, 55 kilometres south of Sydney.”

Bug from Perth, Western Australia
Dear Bugman,
I found this ugly little bugger in my house in Perth, Western Australia. I have never seen one before any where in Australia. Can you help me identify it. (I have kept him in a jar for posterity) He looks like a huge flea/fly combination with small proboscis. In addition to the original photo I have added one with a scale beside the bug to show you actual size.
James Lybrand

Hi James,
You have a species of Weevil. Weevils are sometimes called Snout Beetles or Bill Beetles and belong to the Family Curculionidae, the insect family with the most species. I will try to get you additional information.

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.

What the hell is this Bug?

It is some type of dead and sqashed Orthopteran, probably a grasshopper. Though the body is very short, the long straight wings and long jumping legs indicate some type of grasshopper. Your coin is unfamiliar, and you gave no location, so any attempt at an exact species is impossible.

Update: (05/30/2006) Recently, upon receiving additional images of this Crested Katydid, we properly identified it on our Katydid page. This letter just arrived though.
I can ID both the coin and the ‘hopper on your 02/19/2004 entry It’s the crested Grasshopper (Alectoria superba family Tettigonidae) and is a native of central Australia as is the Australian 10 cent coin shown with it! Actually – no need as I see several other people have already done so ahead of me. I liked the site tho’
Martyn Robinson

Hi Martyn,
Thanks to your letter, we realized we still had an unidentified image of the Crested Katydid remaining on the grasshopper page. We have posted your letter and cleaned up our classification.

Hi, I Live in West Los Angeles/Santa Monica area and this morning – New Year’s Day, while blissfully watching the Rose Parade on TV with morning cuppa java this noise catches my ear – and my cat’s ear. It sounded like a small ornament had dropped off the Christmas Tree onto the window sill. Upon investigation it is a really horrid bug. Looks a bit like a cricket, 6legs, antenna and beige body with black spots. Body in length is approx 1″.I have seen crickets crawl, they’re slow and lumbering, so I was a bit relived that it wasn’t going to attack me in any way. I got the vacuum and prepared to suck the icky crawler into the swirling vortex of death. Wrong! The thing can fly! I lost it – both literally and figuratively. I got near it with the hose when it took off and disappeared into the darkness behind the tree and the cat and I quickly retreated to the safety of the bedroom to regroup and formulate a strategy on capturing the winged beast. I was afraid to leave it alone for too long lest I lose track of it in the house (not acceptable) so I grabbed the cat and we moved back in to the battle zone to wait for its reappearance. Sure enough within minutes it flew toward the window and banged into it with a loud “thwack”. I did manage to get it sucked up in the vacuum but it was still inside the plastic container crawling around lively in the dust. I thought it would surely die with the trip up into the vacuum, or choke on the dust but it didn’t. I looked closely at the bug and your site, but didn’t see any of the bugs that resemble this thing. I dumped it into a plastic trash bag tied it tightly and took it out of the house. Yeech! What is that thing? Did it come in on the tree or is it local to the area and how can I avoid seeing one ever again in my home? Need a glass of champagne now to steady my jangled nerves and will hope to hear from you when you catch up on emails.
Bugged by the Bug on the Westside

Dear Bugged,
Your letter is great, but lacking in some helpful identification details. I’m going to take a wild guess and say perhaps a beetle, the Eucalyptus Tree Borer. Here is a photo of a dead one sent last year.

Ed. Note: We just received this information:
(08/09/2005) identifications Hello – I was recently shown your site, and it is excellent. My specialization is longhorned beetles, and in cruising around I notice a number of incomplete or uncertain IDs for this family. I don’t know if you are interested in receiving this sort of input, but if you are, I offer the following additions to your identifications.
The eucalyptus borer in this photo (and also shown elsewhere on one of the other pages of your site) is Phoracantha recurva, nor P. semipunctata. Both species now have become well-established in California. Cheers.
Frank Hovore