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

Subject:  Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Sydney Australia
Date: 04/01/2018
Time: 02:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was on my herb pot plant never seen it before like to identify
How you want your letter signed:  Lady bug

Long Legged Fly

Dear Lady bug,
This is a Long Legged Fly in the family Dolichopodidae, and according to Ecologistics:  “Dolichopodidae generally are small flies with large, prominent eyes and a metallic cast to their appearance, though there is considerable variation among the species. Most have long legs, though some do not. In many species the males have unusually large genitalia which are taxonomically useful in identifying species. Most adults are predatory on other small animals, though some may scavenge or act as kleptoparasites of spiders or other predators.”  Thanks to images on Save Our Waterways Now, we believe your individual is
Austrosciapus connexus, and the site states that though there are other similar looking species:  “Austrosciapus connexus is the commonest of them, and found in backyards, gardens, as well as wilder country.”  The species is also pictured on the Brisbane Insect site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this thing
Geographic location of the bug:  Melbourne, Australia
Date: 03/30/2018
Time: 02:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this moving in and out of a hole in the ground.
It’s about 10cm long, and almost 2cm in diameter.
How you want your letter signed:  Sandford Family

Rain Moth Pupa

Dear Sanford Family,
This is a moth pupa, and that of quite a large moth.  We believe we have correctly identified it as a Rain Moth Pupa,
Trictena atripalpis, thanks to an image on Butterfly House where it states:  “The caterpillars of this particular species live in tunnels in the ground where they feed on the roots of adjacent Australian native trees” including red gum.  The site also indicates:  “The moths a famous for being able to predict rain. In some areas in autumn, the moths appear on only one night each year, yet all appear together in droves, and always just a few hours before a major downpour in that area. Perhaps the rain helps wash the scattered eggs into crevices in the ground, as well as dormant seeds to germinate, so that after the eggs hatch: the young caterpillars can easily find roots on which to feed.”  That causes us to wonder if perhaps the sighting coincided with rain.  Additional images can be found on Insects of Tasmania where it states:  ” The Hepialid larvae live in silk lined holes and come out at night to feed. They then pupate in the hole.  Trictena atripalpis often leave their pupal case half out of their exit hole.”  We suspect that by the time you get this message, the adult moth might have already emerged from the pupa.

Rain Moth Pupa

Thanks heaps for your reply.
You certainly pinpointed it.
It hatched a day later, however but no rain was in sight. Perhaps we had disturbed it’s nature cycle.
However we did take a time-lapse of it one night after it had hatched where you can see it laying eggs.
I’ll send you a link once we’ve uploaded it.
Thanks.
The Sandford Family.

Rain Moth Pupa

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Australian Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Queensland, Australia
Date: 03/30/2018
Time: 09:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this large caterpillar on a vine bush just curious as to what it is
How you want your letter signed:  Anonymous

Hornworm: Gnathothlibus eras

Thanks to Butterfly House, we quickly identified this Hornworm as Gnathothlibus eras, the Aussie White-Brow Hawkmoth.  Butterfly House states:  “When disturbed, the caterpillar curls its head down onto its first two pairs of legs, and displays the third pair. The caterpillar can also exude liquid from its mouth, and has even been heard to give a squeal.”  Listed food plants include Grape vine and Sweet Potato Vine.

Hornworm: Gnathothlibus eras

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle with tree bark camoflauge
Geographic location of the bug:  Near Lake Burrendong in NSW Australia
Date: 03/29/2018
Time: 10:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
On the 28h of March, in the location specified, a beetle with an interesting camoflauge that looked rather like tree bark landed on my green t-shirt. I was curious as to what kind of beetle it was so I managed to take a few photos before it flew away. It stayed on my t-shirt without moving very much for quite a while, maybe 10-20 minutes before it flew away. I knew it was a beetle of some sort since it had wing covers, which I saw when it took flight. It also had six legs, which I observed while it walked across my t-shirt.
It would be great if this beetle could be identified, thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  A 16 year old, Alvin Yao

Bark Gnawing Beetle

Dear Alvin,
The best clue we have based on your image as we embark upon trying to provide you with an identification are the beaded or moniliform (see BugGuide) antennae.  We searched the Brisbane Insect site for Darkling Beetles, but found nothing similar.  We just took a guess at the family.  We will post your images as unidentified and continue to research your request.  Perhaps one of our readers will write in with an identification.

Bark Gnawing Beetle

Update:  Thanks to a comment from frequent contributor Karl, we agree that this is a Bark Gnawing Beetle which is depicted on Life Unseen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Omg what is this and where did it come from
Geographic location of the bug:  Mittagong NSW  Australia
Date: 03/27/2018
Time: 08:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  It’s the beginning of Autumn
Surrounded by privet trees
Several veggie gardens
Southern Highlands region of NSW
Nearly stepped on this thing at 4am in morning on my lounge room rug
Never seen anything like it
Realise it’s a grub of some kind
Put it in container
What should I do with it
Keep or let go
Will it damage my veggies
Does it turn into a butterfly or moth or something
Please help ASAP
Don’t want to leave it in container to die if it needs to finish it’s life cycle but don’t want it damaging my veggie gardens
How did it get here
No one I’ve asked had ever seen one before
My niece thinks it may be a type of horn worm
Please help
How you want your letter signed:  Freaked me out – sarah

Hornworm: Psilogramma casuarinae

Dear Sarah,
Your niece is correct.  This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  We identified it on Butterfly House as
Psilogramma casuarinae, a species with no common name, thanks to this additional image.  Butterfly House has a list of food plants including olive, privet and jasmine, and the site also indicates “The caterpillar grows to a length of about 8 cms. When the caterpillar is fully grown, it leaves the food plant and walks up to 20 metres to pupate under the soil.”  Because of the pink coloration, we are surmising that your individual is pre-pupal,  and we suspect it might have already begun to transform.  You can return it outside to an area where it can dig underground.  It will not continue to feed at this time and it will not eat your veggies.

Hornworm: Psilogramma casuarinae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Strange beefly
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Helen
Date: 03/16/2018
Time: 01:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  So, I had just got home and went to check the letter box when I saw this fly sitting on it. But it wasn’t just any fly! It had a strange pattern, opposite to a wasp’s and it had oval eyes, it also had a strange antenna that split into two at the end, it’s wings were a strange shape and were covered with orange and black fur. It had no stinger bus was similar in colours to a bee. And also it’s legs were slim but it’s body was wider. It didn’t move no matter how close I put my camera, which is ver strange. I’ve never seen a fly with thick fur, let alone an orange a black one! Please help me discover what this strange insect is, but also, it could be new!
How you want your letter signed:  From Bethany

Tachinid Fly

Dear Bethany,
We are presuming you are from Mount Helen, Montana.  We are feeling confident that this is a parasitoid Tachinid Fly, but we have not had any luck identifying it to the genus or species level.  According to BugGuide:  “Second largest dipteran family (after Tipulidae), with ~1350 spp. in >300 genera of 4 subfamilies in our area.”

Tachinid Fly

Actually I’m in Mt Helen, Victoria. Is it possible that the fly is a new species?

Dear Bethany,
Thanks for getting back to us, clarifying the original vague location information you provided for us.  Now that we have established your actual location, we have located this image on Diptera Info that is identified as ” Tachinidae –
Microtropesa sp. from western Australia.”  We have another member of the genus Microtropesa among the postings in our archives.  The genus is well represented on Atlas of Living Australia.

Thank you for the clarification, it looks a lot like what I saw

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination