From the monthly archives: "February 2017"

Subject: Canberra, Australia Insect
Location: Canberra Australia
February 1, 2017 4:05 am
I’m hoping you can help identify what kind of Insect I found on my Lemon Tree.
The closest family I can discern are the Stick insects, but the fused wing case throws me off.
There is a few pictures in my Flickr album, but I think this is the best.
Hope you can help,
Signature: Kai Squires

Australian Pollen Feeding Katydid

Dear Kai,
We doubt that this is a Stick Insect, and we believe it is a Longhorned Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera, possibly one of the Tree Crickets which you can find pictured on the Discover Life site.  The ovipositor indicates your individual is a female.  Two Spotted Tree Crickets have a similar roll wing appearance.  We may try to contact Piotr Naskrecki who specializes in Katydids to see if he knows the identity of your very unusual Orthopteran.  We suspect we may get comments from our readership on this identification today.

Fantastic thank you.
I did feel the ovipositor was very cricket,grasshopper like, but nothing else was.
Thanks, k.

Update:  Australian Pollen Feeding Katydid
Cesar Crash and Matthew both wrote comments that this is Zaprochilus australis, commonly called the Pollen Katydid.  The Atlas of Living Australia indicates it is a member of the Katydid family Tettigoniidae, does not provide a common name but indicates:  “At rest by day, these katydids camouflage themselves as twigs. They lie lengthways along a small branch, with antennae pointing directly forwards and hind legs pointing backwards. They hold their wings at a distinctive angle from the body, with the fore wings ‘rolled’ so that they are almost cylindrical. If disturbed, a purple patch is revealed at the base of the hind wings. At night, they fly to flowers to feed on nectar and pollen, using their specialised lengthened mouthparts to reach deep into flowers and using specialised molar plates to crush pollen grains. They have a preference for grass-trees but visit many other flowers. Adults are active from late winter and early summer. Males have a simple stridulatory file and produce a simple, barely audible call to attract mates. Females lay their eggs in crevices in bark.”  Csiro provides the common names Twig-Mimicking Katydid and Australian Pollen Feeding Katydid.  According to BunyipCo:  “As an aside that might be of interest,
Zaprochilus australis (Brullé) is one of the earliest described species of Australian Orthoptera. The first specimen was collected on an expedition authorised by Napoleon Bonaparte that comprised two vessels, one, Le Géographe the other Le Naturaliste. The former ship was captained by Capt. Nicholas Baudin, the purported collector of the type of the species on Kangaroo Island, South Australia in 1802 or, perhaps, in 1803 when another ship, the Casuarina returned there. This species is the most widespread of the genus and occurs across the southern end of the continent and seems quite abundant at times.”

Subject: Lady bug invasion?
Location: East Texas woods
January 31, 2017 10:30 am
For a couple of months we have been assaulted by literally MILLIONS of little beetles that resemble lady bugs. They are literally everywhere…outside and inside! These come in a range of colors from deep red through mustard yellow. Some have black spots, some don’t. We live in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Any thoughts? Thank you!!! (Sorry the photo is a bit blurred.)
Signature: Overwhelmed

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles

Dear Overwhelmed,
Though your image is quite blurry, we suspect you have encountered the introduced Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles that are known to hibernate indoors in great numbers.  See BugGuide for examples of the color and pattern diversity exhibited by the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles,
Harmonia axyridis.  Our Better Nature has an interesting article on invasions of Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles.

Dear Daniel — Bull’s Eye!!!  That’s definitely what we’re dealing with!  I so appreciate your help. I’m engaging in the process of searching out and caulking every miniscule seam, crack or nail hole in my siding, though I expect it will not fully resolve this issue. I share the concern expressed in response to another inquiry re: the attack on our native lady beetles and the resultant decrease in genetic diversity. Let’s hear it for introduced species!  (A bit of sarcasm there). At any rate, thanks so much for your response!

Subject: Beetle or moth larva?
Location: South eastern Washington State
January 31, 2017 6:18 am
I’m so glad to have found this site!
I found this larva crawling on my pillow. One week earlier one was in my kids bedroom. Trying not to be grossed out! We are in the northwest but recently moved from the northeast. In our old house carpet beetles were coming in from outside attracted to wool carpets. I’ve been meticulous about not spreading them to our new house. This new larva looks a little different but similar and I am trying not to freak out! Is it a beetle? Moth? I found larder beetle and warehouse beetle larva photos and am wondering if it could be one of those?
Signature: Beetle watcher

Carpet Beetle Larva

Dear Beetle watcher,
This Carpet Beetle larva is a common household pest.