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The family of biting midges, Ceratopogonidae, is very well represented in Guam and the rest of Micronesia. The "Insects of Micronesia" issue on this family (Tokunaga and Murachi 1959) lists 147 species in Micronesia. Fortunately, only a few species have females which bite humans. On Guam, I often see ceratopogonids (probably Forcipomyia sp.) feeding on caterpillars.
Swanson and Reeves (2011) have published records for three ceratopogonids not collected previously on Guam, Culicoides peliliouensis, Dasyhelea carolinensis, and D. dupliforceps. All three occur elsewhere in Micronesia.
Culicoides peliliouensis bites humans and other species in this genus are known vectors of mammalian diseases. Tokunaga and Murachi (1959) wrote: "This species is extremely abundant and troublesome in the Palau Islands. The immature forms are found in the mangrove swamps surrounding the islands. Females bite man severely in the house and field at dusk." According to Swanson and Reeves (2011): "Biting midges are a pest of humans on Guam's recreational beaches and C. pleleliouensis is the probable species."
- M. Tokunaga and E. K. Murachi, “Diptera: Ceratopogonidae”, Insects of Micronesia, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 103–434, 1959.
- D. A. Swanson and W. K. Reeves, “New records of biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from Guam Island, USA”, Check List Journal of Species Lists and Distribution, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 313-314, 2011.
Photo courtesy Craig Cruz, Guam
Guam's large centipedes belong to the species Scolopendra subspinipes. Most people try to avoid these many-legged creatures at all costs. But centipedes are really not as dangerous as they look. The bite is sometimes extremely painful, but not deadly (Tenorio and Nishida 1995).
Scolopendra subspinipes is active at night and is generally beneficial because it feeds on cockroaches, slugs, and other pests. Centipede's bite with the tips of the enlarged first pair of legs, which carry poison glands. Though they are longer than the rest and look menacing, the last pair of legs do not sting. Centipedes bite humans in self defense, as when stepped on, grabbed, or squeezed while they are hiding in clothes or bedding (Nishida and Tenorio 1993).
Haddock and Cruz (1995) reported that the Guam Memorial Hospital received only 12 patients suffering from centipede bites during 1988 through 1994. During this same period, there were 1291 patients with dog bites and 123 patients with bee stings.
These microleps were reared from Leucaena leucocephala seed pods. Also caught in a Malaise trap near L. leucocephala.
There appears to be an image of a psyllid or other small insect portrayed in the scales of the distal part of the forewing.
An even better match on the BOLD site: Labdia deliciosella.
On March 15, 2011, Cari Eggleston, Richard Zack and Aubrey Moore visited some Serianthes nelsonii saplings planted at the Ritidian National Wildlife Refuge, Guam. The leaders on several of the plants had died and these all had longitudinal slits of about 5 to 10 cm in length. Inside these slits we found katydid (Tettigoniidae) eggs. Members of this grasshopper family typically lay eggs in slits cut by their ovipositors for protection.
A few weeks later, similar katydid oviposition slit damage was observed on 2 of 2 Serianthes saplings growing in the Dept. of Ag. nursery in Mangilao.
Another sighting of large numbers of Leptocoris vicinus on Allophylus timoriensis (Family Sapindaceae) along the road down to the refuge. Specimens collected by Rich Zack. Host plant identified by Phoebe Wall using "Trees and Shrubs of the Northern Mariana Islands" by Lynn Raiulerson and Agnes Rinehart, page 88.
These beetles were swarming on an outside wall at Wettingel School.
It is a beetle in Tenebrionidae family, the darkling beetles, most probably Gonocephalum adpressiforme.
These beetles are very common on Guam. They are scavangers found in leaf litter and they don't cause any damage.
Click here to see an image of Gonocephalum adpressiforme on Gerald McCormack's Cook Island's Biodiversity site.
This incident resulted in a couple of news stories: