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

Subject:  Flies
Geographic location of the bug:  Cootamundra, NSW. Australia
Date: 02/20/2018
Time: 12:55 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Wanting to know what sort of fly this is? Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Graham

Horse Fly or Bee Fly???

Dear Graham,
Our initial thought is this must be a Horse Fly (called March Flies in Australia) from the family Tabanidae, but there are no similar looking images on the Brisbane Insects site.  The white edge on the compound eye is a trait found in several Bee Flies on the Brisbane Insect site that share that trait.  We are going to request assistance from our readership with this identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Pilbara, West Australia
Date: 02/11/2018
Time: 08:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi I got bitten on the neck by this bug today, It was quite painful for about an hour, can you please help identify it.
How you want your letter signed:  Bitten on the neck

Assassin Bug

Dear Bitten on the neck,
This is a predatory Assassin Bug.  Though members of one group commonly called Kissing Bugs feed on mammalian blood and are known to bite humans, this is not one of those.  Most Assassin Bugs feed on other insects, but some species will bite readily if provoked, handled carelessly, or accidentally encountered when they get trapped in clothing.  Your individual looks exactly like one represented in a prior posting to our site, and that encounter also resulted in a bite.

Assassin Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bug in freshwater fountain
Geographic location of the bug:  Victoria Australia
Date: 02/07/2018
Time: 05:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
We have a fresh water pond with running water along a pot. This is at the top of the pot and these hanging in the water. Fixed by their back end, hanging down, and with two antennae like.
They are 6-8mm in length and in a group of about 20!
They seem the wrong shape for the mosquito larvae I have seen, but not sure if they are!
Thanks for your help
How you want your letter signed:  Julien

Black Fly Larvae

Dear Julian,
Your query has us quite intrigued.  We concur that these are NOT Mosquito Larvae.  Mosquito Larvae breathe through a siphon and they congregate at the surface of generally stagnant water.  We suspect these are larvae and that they are members of the Fly order Diptera.  We also suspect that in their natural environment, they affix themselves to rocks in flowing streams.  We located this image on SlideShare of some aquatic Dipteran larvae and several resemble your individuals.  At this point, we suspect this might be a member of the Black Fly family Simulidae, and according to BugGuide:  “Larva: brown, gray, or black with light brown head; body cylindrical, somewhat club-shaped; head with prominent pair of mouth brushes used for filtering food from the water” and “larvae develop in running water of all types, from the smallest seepages and streams to the largest rivers and waterfalls; they attach themselves to underwater rocks and other objects by means of small hooklets in a sucker-like disc at the tip of the abdomen.”  Bug Eric has some very similar looking images.  Though they are not Mosquitoes, female Black Flies are blood suckers.  According to BugGuide:  “Black flies attack most severely about sunrise and at sunset — either massively and viciously or in such small numbers that they are scarcely noticeable. They bite painlessly so that you may not be aware of having been attacked until small droplets of blood start oozing from your skin. Black flies often crawl into your hairline or through openings in your clothes before they bite you. Therefore, the bites are usually behind your ears, around your neck and beltline, and on the lower parts of your legs. A typical bite consists of a round, pink, itchy swollen area, with a droplet of fresh or dried blood at the center. When the blood is rubbed away, a minute subcutaneous hemorrhage is visible. This hemorrhage and the surrounding pink area become diffuse and larger, and then disappear within a few days. Itching may continue intermittently for weeks, whenever the bitten area is rubbed. Scratching may cause severe secondary skin infections. Toxins injected during an extended severe attack can cause a general illness sometimes called black-fly fever, characterized by headache, fever, nausea, and swollen, painful neck glands. Attacks occur throughout late spring and early summer (sometimes throughout the summer). (Fredeen 1973)  often ranked third worldwide among arthropods in importance as disease vectors, but only ~10-20% of the world’s spp. are pests of humans/livestock.” According to Atlas of Living Australia:  “Most black flies gain nourishment by feeding on the blood of mammals, including humans, although the males feed mainly on nectar.”

Black Fly Larvae

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for looking into that!! Your suggestion and pictures are very convincing. We do have these flies around as well. I have taken pictures again and I think that we can see the one in their cocoon on the bottom and the other one on top!
Your site is a great help!
Best wishes
Julien

Black Fly larvae and pupae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this
Geographic location of the bug:  Australia northern Victoria
Date: 02/07/2018
Time: 08:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  we have lots of these and don’t know what they are
How you want your letter signed:  Bradley

Coon Bugs

Hi Bradley,
These look to us like Coon Bugs.  According to Cesar Australia:  “The coon bug is a seed and fruit feeder, which occasionally swarms on cultivated plants including cotton, stone fruits and some vegetables. They prefer malvaceous plants such as marshmallow weed, but can reach pest status on crops, especially in dry seasons when other food is scarce. Feeding causes young fruit to shrivel and leaves discoloured patches on ripening fruit. These small bugs are most abundant in warm weather and are often found swarming around fowl yards, on fences and around the walls of houses. Adults are about 3 mm long with a black and white body. Nymphs are black with a conspicuous blood-red abdomen.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Furry Beetle Australia
Geographic location of the bug:  Bellingen area, NSW
Date: 02/02/2018
Time: 04:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
Thank you for having this amazing website available for us all 🙂
Could you please identify this beetle which was on the move today, it was a rainy day and we were about to have a subtropical afternoon storm (it is summer here) when ‘he’ walked across the ground in front of us. He appears to have hair growing from his back, and fur from the rest of his body. Some of the fur looks like it has been ripped off recently, and also his leg and antenna appear to be missing segments.
I greatly appreciate your help in identifying this little guy, as I’m having no luck in refernece books or on the net.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks again, Jodie

 Darkling Beetle

Dear Jodie,
This is such a distinctive looking beetle, but we are nonetheless having a difficult time verifying its identity.  In shape, it reminds us of some New World Pleasing Fungus Beetles, but we really suspect it is in the Darkling Beetle family Tenebrionidae.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in an identity.

Darkling Beetle

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for your prompt reply!
I can see how the beetle has characteritics from both of those suggestions. Another natural curiosity.. The enviroment here has sustained the last known populaion of Giant Dragonfly, previously thought to be extinct in Australia since the 80’s…
You just never know which surprise is next when you open your eyes to the undergrowth 🙂
Thank you again,
Jodie

Darkling Beetle

Update:  March 11, 2018
We just received a comment from Daniel Heald indicating this might be the Darkling Beetle
Cyphaleus childreni, and we located a mounted specimen on Europeana Collections and a different mounted specimen on Atlas of Living Australia

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black wasp with 4 yellow dots
Geographic location of the bug:  South Australia, Elizabeth
Date: 01/31/2018
Time: 07:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this wasp on my driveway and can’t find any relating pictures of it online. Do you know what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Naiomi

Flower Wasp

Dear Naiomi,
This looks to us like a Flower Wasp in the family Scoliidae, similar to this individual posted to FlickR, or this individual also posted to FlickR.

Flower Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination