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

Strange sideways/backwards-walking, jumping bug
January 4, 2010
Hi,
We say this strange bug in Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, Australia on Christmas Day. The weather was dry and it was warm. We were out of direct sunlight although the bug did sit on some of the wood around us in the sunlight looking for heat perhaps.
Assuming we’ve identified teh head correctly it has reddish eyes a white and orange coloured two-piece “back” and a segmented tail end with black and white stripes running across the segments.
The strangest feature were the two long antennae-type bits at the tail end (we thought this was the head first) which where dark with white strips and sort of feathery white ends.
It seemed to walk in any direction without turning round and jumped up to a metre very quicky.
I live in Scotland and have never seen anything like this so don’t even know where to start. It looks like a beetle of some sort!
Any ideas?!
alan
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

Immature Palm Planthopper

Immature Palm Planthopper

Dear Alan,
This was a challenge since it is an immature insect and they can be difficult to identify.  We have received similar images in the past that we identified on the Brisbane Insect website as Wattle Hoppers in the family Eurybrachyidae, but this specimen looked different.  We clicked around on the Brisbane Insect website a bit longer and stumbled upon the Palm Planthopper, Magia subocellata in the family Lophopidae, and it looks quite close.

Immature Palm Planthopper

Immature Palm Planthopper

We then found an image of an immature Palm Planthopper, Magia subocellata, on the LifeUnseen website that corroborates our identification as does a Flickr posting.

Immature Palm Planthopper

Immature Palm Planthopper

Hi Daniel,
Many thanks for this!  I’d done some insect ID many years ago but don’t have any of the resources.  Funnily enough I think I saw something resembling the adult Planthopper closeby while we were entertained by the wee fellow.
Great work, hopw you have a great 2010. J
Cheers,
alan

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black & Red Water Bug?
January 4, 2010
These guys only seem to surface at this time of year (Summer). They fly (rather poorly) and seem to be seriously attracted to water. Pretty much always find their way to the sink, shower floor or cats water bowl. Also only seem to see them at night. Heaps of them in the house at the moment. Fairly small, about the size of a 5 cent coin.
Jason
Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

Unknown Scarab Beetle from Tasmania

Unknown Scarab Beetle from Tasmania

Dear Jason,
This is not a Water Bug, but rather, some species of Scarab Beetle.  We do not believe the beetles are being attracted to the water.  We believe they are accidentally flying into the water and cannot get out.  We wish your photo was of a higher quality, but as it is, the markings on your beetle seem rather distinctive.  We have had no luck matching it to anything online, including the Scarabaeidae Insect Gallery page on the LifeUnseen website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange orange bug with shiny symmetrical green patches
December 28, 2009
I was standing outside the pharmacy building at the Sydney University, on an Australian Spring afternoon, when this orange bug/beetle landed on my arm. I’m not sure if the bug fell out of a tree (many Eucalyptus trees around) or flew and landed on me, but it didn’t seem to fly away when i flicked it off. It just fell onto the concrete and kind of crawled slowly away. It was slow enough for me to take a couple of good close up pictures of it, including a nice mug shot. To date, I still haven’t been able to identify it, so I was wondering if you could help me out a little. Thanks =)
Mr Tan Luu
Sydney University, NSW, Australia

Cotton Harlequin Bug

Cotton Harlequin Bug

Dear Mr. Luu,
This shimmery creature is a Cotton Harlequin Bug, Tectocoris diophthalmus.  It is also called a Hibiscus Harlequin Bug and you can see photos of it on the Brisbane Insect Website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this?
December 25, 2009
We have never seen a bug like thin in NZ before. Any idea what it might be? It looks like a cross between a blow fly and a wasp. Any light you could share on it would be great. Thanks heaps
Paulo the wonderer
Auckland New Zealand

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Dear Paulo,
The ventral view of your photograph is not ideal for identification purposes, and a dorsal view is much preferred.  We believe this is some species of Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae.  You might try comparing the images on the Insects of Brisbane Syrphidae page to see if any look close to your specimen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

‘large brown moth
December 25, 2009
We found a live moth in our house that we have not seen before. It has a wing span of about 12cm the length of a pen and has cicles on the lower wings. see photo.
Missie Macdonald
Leithfield, North Canterbury

Emperor Gum Moth

Emperor Gum Moth

Hi Missie,
We needed to check an Atlas to determine that North Caterbury was not in England, but rather on the South Island of New Zealand.  We are quite certain that this is an Emperor Gum Moth, Opodiphthera eucalypti, and the species has been introduced to both the North and South islands of New Zealand.  This is our second report of an Emperor Gum Moth from New Zealand in a few weeks.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bird Mites?
December 22, 2009
After awaking two mornings in a row after a restless night feeling like something was crawling all over me, I took a close look at the bed sheets and found these little critters crawling everywhere.
After washing and bleaching the sheets and vacuuming and steam cleaning the carpet, they returned the next morning!
Comparing my photo to photos of ticks found on the internet, I was convinced that they were ticks. After speaking to a few local pest control companies, they were sceptical at first until they saw the photo and also believed they were ticks.
One company suggested that the behaviour wasn’t consistent with ticks. They did not attach when biting, and they only appears upstairs, even though our dogs only every stay downstairs. He suggested that they could be bird mites.
Then I came across your site, and saw Bernard from South Aftrica’s post titled “MITES CRAWLING ON SKIN IN SOUTH AFRICA”, with a picture almost identical to what I’ve seen.
Mark S.
Melbourne, Australia

Tropical Fowl Mite???

Tropical Fowl Mite???

Hi Mark,
One of your photos does look identical to the Mite in Bernard’s images from South Africa, but the third image (though we are posting it second) looks like it might be another species.  Possibly that individual is engorged with blood.  As we indicated to Bernard, we do not have the necessary qualifications to properly identify Mites to the species level, though Bird Mites would be a strong possibility.  In November 2008, we posted an image that might be a Tropical Fowl Mite, Ornithonyssus bursa, and we provided a link to an Australian Website on that Mite.  Perhaps an acarologist will chime in at some point, and we would recommend that you post a comment to your own letter so that you will be informed of any further comments from our readership.

Tropical Fowl Mite??? Blood Engorged???

Tropical Fowl Mite??? Blood Engorged???

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination