I recently visited Malawi and found these insects all scurrying in one direction up one side of a rock at the bottom of Mount. Mulanje. From what I could see, it looked like a mating ritual of some sort as on closer inspection each 'insect' was actually two insects, one large one at the front and a smaller one behind.
I'm very curious to find out what kind of insects these are and would be grateful to anyone who could tell me!
I'm not an entomologist, but they look like some type of shield bug in the Pentatomoidea family (a massive group). Hopefully someone else can be more specific!
I'm not an entomologist either, but I noticed that this thread was marked assumed answered even before anyone had answered it! Did you by accident press the 'mark as assume answered', & if so is it possible to unmark it? The problem with this is many people seeing it on the menu will assume it's been answered as the symbols for 'answered' & 'assumed answered' are the same, so fewer are likely to check it out.
I think the family is more likely to be Rhopalidae or Lygaeidae.
Just for comparison of the shape and general features, here's a rhopalid species that occurs in the UK - http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/heteroptera/Rhopalidae/corizus_hyoscyami.html
I don't recognize your particular species.
Thank you very much for your answers! Do any of you know where or who from I could perhaps get a specific identification from?
rhossilian, I accidentally clicked it and now can't find out how to undo it, whoops!
I suggest you email the good folks at BritishBugs
This was a needle in a bug haystack but I think I've got the species (or a near relative), it's from family Pyrrhocoridae, a Cotton Stainer Dysdercus bifasciatus, eg http://www.ispot.org.za/node/191615 .This says there are 2 other Dysdercus species in South Africa similar to this one, D. fasciatus (in google images but didn't look more similar to me) & D. intermedius.
It seems a list of Dystercus species is hard to get, eg the one in EOL, http://eol.org/pages/12036937/names doesnt include this species but peculiarly has 8 species "sp WCW 2003a-h"
On the 'assumed answered' I tried it with a dummy question & it can't be undone. There didn't used to be any assumed answers & I understand it came about due to an unforseen (& apparently unalterable) consequence of the computer program,that the large number of unaswered questions generated 100s of email alerts to the museum ID team. Hovever I'd have thought it could easily be designed (or redesigned) so that either the questioner could undo the step, or was unable to take it till they'd got at least 1 answer. But anyway I can see no justification whatever for giving the 'assumed' the same symbol in the list as the 'answered' instead of a new symbol, so members keen on answering questions can readily find the questions needing answers; especially as staff are always pointing out they've not time to answer them themselves.
So with the new system staff could mark all the older unanswereds as assumed answered, even if they'd had no answers.
rhossilian - I agree, and have sent an email to the admins accordingly // MIke
you could also try:
Dawid H. Jacobs, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
He provided the answer to the iSpot.org.za question that rhossilian refered to.
I would think it is D. nigrofasciatus: http://flic.kr/p/e8GPnw rather than D. bifasciatus .
I've found another case like Ellie's here,at http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/message/36502 where the poster must have pressed the 'assumed answered button' like Ellie , either by mistake or thinking it the right thing to do (as a non-expert); [as the last post was 28 aug it's too soon to have been by staff]. I'd be interested to know if you got anywhere with admins //Chris
As an odd twist to the 'assumed answered' problem, when I mentioned this thread in 'strange fish' Florin convinced himself he'd marked it as 'assumed answered' as it already had 9 answers; see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/search.jspa?resultTypes=&dateRange=last90days&peopleEnabled=true&q=%22was+fair+to+mark+it%22&containerType=&container=&containerName=&username=&rankBy=relevance&newq=%22was+fair+to+mark+it%22%22*
(see point 1.)