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What bug is this?

By johnboy - 22 January 2011 15

little blue bug

Anna Key has sent in this beauty in the hope that one of our resident panel of experts on everything will know what it is.

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15 Responses to
What bug is this?
Anna Key 10:34 pm 24 Jan 11

Grrrr said :

Anna Key – great photo, tell us about it. You have a nice point-and-shoot, or DSLR + ring-flash for macro?

Canon 450D, kit 55-250mm lens, in-camera flash, 1/125 at f5.6 and a small tweak on the shadows/highlights in photoshop. It was taken in a hurry so didn’t have time to do anything too fancy

Grrrr 10:56 am 24 Jan 11

Anna Key – great photo, tell us about it. You have a nice point-and-shoot, or DSLR + ring-flash for macro?

andym 2:00 pm 23 Jan 11

And here I was thinking it was the fabled blue arsed fly !

Gerry-Built 12:52 pm 23 Jan 11

We had a few groups of these swarm around our garden (particularly in the mulched area that likely contained an appetising collection of grubs) a couple of years ago, around this time (Dunlop area). They are harmless, but I wouldn’t go disturbing them. They were very easy to identify from the shiny blue of their wings – the photo doesn’t do the shiny blue justice. They moved on in a couple of weeks, and we’ve only seen the odd few around since.

facet 11:12 am 23 Jan 11

Someone (it may have been you Anna) asked the “experts” on the local ABC Saturday morning gardening show about this or a similar insect. I thought their answer a bit on the dismissive side.
Turns out this insect may assist those few remaining Canberrans with a grass lawn as they are parasitic on scarab beetle lava which produce those dead patches in the grass.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 10:47 am 23 Jan 11

Speaking of spitfires, whatever happened to them? as a kid they used to be on all the native trees around weston creek but i havent seen any for a long long time.

justsayit 12:12 am 23 Jan 11

Now you have your answer I just want to add that it is a great photo as well.

Holden Caulfield 9:16 pm 22 Jan 11

Thanks for the lesson, we’ve had these guys faffing about in our garden for the last few days. Now we know what they are.

miz 6:15 pm 22 Jan 11

It’s a native insect called the ‘black flower wasp’ –
http://www.csiro.au/resources/BlackFlowerWasp.html

Attached fact sheet says they are not aggressive and are beneficial.

Skidbladnir 6:15 pm 22 Jan 11

1) Steelblue Sawflies (Perga dorsalis) don’t look like that.
Steelblue sawflies are what spitfires grow up to be, but adults look like this.

2) It’s not a European wasp (vesupla germanica,) Floyd.
They look like this:
http://www.tams.act.gov.au/play/pcl/pestsandweeds/european_wasps
They’re highly aggressive, often mistaken for bees.
More info on getting rid of them and how to identify them on that page, if you or anyone is worried about them.

3)The blue on the wings is the giveaway.
Its a female Scolia\Discolia soror, aka Blue\Black Flower Wasp, aka Hairy Flower Wasp.
Females have shorter antennae than the males.
Native to South-Eastern Australia, lays eggs inside Christmas beetle larvae, but adults only drink nectar.
They’re non-aggressive, but you need go out of your way to severely piss them off before they’ll sting you.

Same species, male, different time of year.

M0les 4:10 pm 22 Jan 11

Looks like the inventively named “Black Wasp” to me. I _think_ these aren’t bities, but I’d suggest you find-out for sure rather then me!

Deref 4:09 pm 22 Jan 11

Dunno, but it’s gorgeous!

Floydwafer 2:56 pm 22 Jan 11

Parks, Conservation and Lands employ a highly exerienced entomologist to give advice to residents on European wasps, general insect identification and advice, call Phil Spradbery on 61621914

Floydwafer 2:48 pm 22 Jan 11

Steel Blue Sawfly…?

facet 2:42 pm 22 Jan 11

Dunno but would like a special section of RA called “ask the entomologist”. Ever since that “take a photo of a butterfly”, I have heaps of photos of of scary bugs.
If it is a new species who has the naming rights?

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