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What animal is this?

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ieathedead
883295.  Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:25 am Reply with quote

I always see weird bugs and other critters when I'm out and about and try to take photos of them if I can. I thought I'd start a thread where people can post pictures or detailed descriptions about animals they have seen but have no idea what they are so the more learned members of the forum can tell us what they are and the rest of us can make jokes about it.

I'll post some pics I took in a few minutes once I remember where I've put them, feel free to post your own.

 
ieathedead
883296.  Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:49 am Reply with quote





I'm pretty sure the above is a Spider Wasp but I'm not 100% sure. I put up 2 photos of it so you can see the pretty markings on its thorax. This was taken in my backyard in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, Australia



This is a massive slug I saw at my fiance's brothers house up in Stroud, NSW, Australia. I don't know much about slugs so I have no idea what it's called. I'm going to call it a Marbled Bush Slug until I find out.



I found this stylishly coloured bug in my kitchen. I think it could possibly be some kind of leafhopper but I again, I have no idea what it actually is. This photo was taken in my backyard in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, Australia

 
Leith
883319.  Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:33 am Reply with quote

That last one is a moth, probably a Green Blotched Moth (Cosmodes Elegans), I reckon:
http://www.ozanimals.com/Insect/Green-Blotched-Moth/Cosmodes/elegans.html

Some more pictures of the adult moth and caterpillars on this archived page: link

 
Leith
883364.  Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:45 am Reply with quote

The slug I'm not sure about, but it could be a Leopard Slug (size looks about right, leopard slug colour and pattern varies a lot but this one seems to fit the general theme:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limax_maximus

Leopard slugs originate from Europe, but have been inadvertantly exported around most of the world. They have a well developed homing ability and some truly bizarre mating habits, as described by David Attenborough in this video clip:
Life in the Undergrowth: Weird mating calls of the leopard slug

 
Leith
883553.  Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:52 pm Reply with quote

..and finally:

ieathedead wrote:
I'm pretty sure the above is a Spider Wasp but I'm not 100% sure. I put up 2 photos of it so you can see the pretty markings on its thorax. This was taken in my backyard in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, Australia

It's certainly an impressive looking beastie. It looks like a good match for Priocnemis bicolor or Cryptocheilus bicolor, judging from these pictures (arachnophobes beware!), though I gather mimicry in, and of, spider wasp species is common:
http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_wasps/POMPILIDAE.htm

From what I've read, those species are about 3 centimetres long and prey on Huntsman spiders among other things. My friend in Sydney was recently telling me about watching one of these dragging a huge captured Huntsman the length of his garden. There seem to be a fair few videos of similar feats on youtube. We have some smaller spider hunting wasps in the UK, but they're less of a familiar sight here than in Australia, I think.

The real monsters of the spider wasp family are the "tarantula hawks" of the tropics, some of which grow to the size of small birds. They also have a fearsome sting, second only the Bullet Ant on the Schmidt Pain Index. Here's zoologist Ross Piper on spider wasps in general, and an encounter with a tarantula hawk in Brazil:
Scrubmuncher's Blog: There’s no need for that

 

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