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

Subject: Spikey Black inch long larvae/caterpillars?
Location: Sydney, Australia, NSW
April 4, 2017 4:41 am
So a friend of mine found these larvae(?) in his fish pond, dozens of them, they breathe through a snorkel and are almost an inch long. I have yet to see them in person, but I don’t seem to be able to find anything that fits closely and hes never had them before. Maybe of note is that we have had a lot of rain lately so perhaps they are thriving because of all of the fresh rainwater and his pond only has floating duckweed and salvinia. Does he need to be worried about his smaller baby fish if these are carnivorous?
Signature: Ashton

Mosquito Larvae

Dear Ashton,
What kind of fish does your friend have?  We would think fish would gobble up these Mosquito Larvae.  Your friend might want to consider adding some Mosquito Fish to the pond to help eliminate these aquatic larvae that will eventually become blood-sucking, flying Mosquitoes.   Here is a Getty Images image to support our identification.  Here is a larval comparison image from NSW Arbovirus Surveillance & Vector Monitoring Program.  Mosquito Larvae are commonly called Wrigglers.

Thank you for the photo references.
He has koi fish which logically should be eating them.
Its weird though ive never seen wrigglers as large as he was telling me as i personally collect them to feed to my aquarium fish at home. What he explained was that they were the size of grubs. Hes collected wrigglers for his smaller fish for years and has never had ones like these so maybe theyre from a different species of mosquitoe to usual.

Update:  April 10, 2017
On second look, they look a lot like the culex variety. Will have to research mosquitoe varieties in my local sydney area.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green bug with long nose?
Location: Western Australia
April 3, 2017 5:40 am
Found in Geraldton, Western Australia. Really curious to find out what it is!!
Signature: Corma

Vine Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Corma,
This distinctive Hornworm is a Vine Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Hippotion celerio, which we identified on the Butterfly House website where it states:  “This Caterpillar occurs world-wide. It can occur in several different colour forms: green, brown, red or dark grey. It usually has an eyespot each side of the first and second abdominal segments, those on the first segment being larger.”  The eyespots may act as protective mimicry if a predator mistakes a tasty caterpillar for a larger threat, and the Caterpillar’s behavior, as explained on Butterfly House, supports that:  “When disturbed, the caterpillar curls into the shape of a letter ‘C’, tucks its head under its thorax, and expands the segments with the eyespots. No doubt these distract and deter possible predators.”  Since this species has such a wide range, it is known by different common names in different locations.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Windsor victoria
April 2, 2017 10:02 pm
Dear bug man.
We were at a local park and saw this reddish brown caterpillar type bug with a stinger on the tip of its tail. It only had 6 legs that we could see
We took a photo to try to help us identify it.
My 11year old mitchell is fascinated
Signature: Nicole Hoskin

Long-tailed Sawfly Larva

Dear Nicole,
Though it resembles a Caterpillar, this is actually the larva of a Sawfly.  Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of Wasps and Bees, and adult Sawflies are generally mistaken for Wasps or Flies.  Based on images posted to the Brisbane Insect website, we believe your individual is in the subfamily Pterygophorinae, the Long-Tailed Sawflies.

Long-Tailed Sawfly Larva

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tiger Moth??
Location: Perth, WA
March 25, 2017 6:52 pm
Hello, I found this fluffy guy on my front porch in the Perth metropolitan area, Western Australia. It was found in April 2016. This was the only photo I managed before it flew away! I’ve been trying to find what kind of moth or family it belongs to since. The closest resemblance I can find is a Tiger Moth, what do you think? I would love to finally find out!
Signature: Lisa

Unknown Tiger Moth

Dear Lisa,
We agree with you that this is a Tiger Moth, but we have not had any luck identifying the species.  None of the species pictured on Butterfly House resemble your moth, nor did we find it on the Brisbane Insect site.  We will contact Tiger Moth expert Julian Donahue to see if he can provide an identification.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you! I have been searching for so long trying to find one similar, but haven’t had any luck. Your expertise is much appreciated!
Kind regards,

Julian Donahue provides some information and resources.
Hi Daniel,
Cool moth, and indeed a gravid female tiger moth. Not illustrated in Australian Moths Online
Another CSIRO site that you may find useful for all other groups of Australian insects:
I suspect that it’s a melanic specimen, related to Creatonotos or “Diacrisia,” and may not be from Australia (or an accidental import).
For a modern, updated list of Arctiidae of the Oriental Region, Australia, and Oceania, with current names, check out:
The author, Vladimir V. Dubatolov, may be your best bet for identifying this animal.
For New World tiger moths, I’d suggest Dr. Chris Schmidt, an active worker in the field (Canadian National Collection, Ottawa)
Good luck,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar???
Location: Melbourne, Victoria (Australia)
March 21, 2017 10:36 pm
Me and my sister found this strange caterpillar thing outside. Lately we’ve been having very rainy and humid weather so I don’t know if that caused it’s appearance?
We’d love to know what it is!
Signature: Bridget

Sawfly Larva

Dear Bridget,
This is a Sawfly Larva and it is very easy to confuse a Sawfly Larva for a Caterpillar, but instead of maturing into a butterfly or moth, it will mature into a non-stinging relative of bees and wasps.  We cannot currently access our main “go to” website for Australian identifications, Brisbane Insects, but this does look like a Longtailed Sawfly larva we have in our archives.

Sawfly Larva

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentified flying object
Location: Esperance, Western Australia
March 5, 2017 11:50 am
Insect has long antennae (about the same length of the body), 6 legs, about an inch long, made a highpitch squeaking noise when I put it in the container, can fly, wings seem to be sheltered like a beetles, body is black with a brown patch in the middle
Signature: With an answer

Eucalyptus Borer

This is a Eucalyptus Borer, a species that has been accidentally introduced to California where it has a plentiful supply of food plants, but no natural enemies to control its populations.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination