Subject: So unusual
Location: Central PA
August 30, 2014 11:04 am
I have never seen this before but such unusual color and pattern. Quite lovely.
Taken 8-29-14 in Central, PA not far from a lake in early afternoon.
It was about 3 inches long.
Signature: Abby

Hooded Owlet Caterpillar

Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Abby,
This is a Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Cucullia, and after browsing through the species represented on BugGuide, we believe the closest match is to Cucullia omissa, which according to BugGuide goes by the common names Omitted Cucullia or Alberta Falconer.  This image from BugGuide depicts an individual with coloration that matches the Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillars in your image, though other examples indicate the coloration of the caterpillar may be variable.  Another strong possibility is the Gray Hooded Owlet, Cucullia florea, and there are several images on BugGuide with a similar color pattern including this one from Maine and this one from New Hampshire.  It might even be a Goldenrod Hooded Owlet, Cucullia asteroides, based on the coloration of this individual from BugGuide.  There are also some individuals pictured on BugGuide that look like your caterpillars that are not identified to the species level.  The genus as a whole is described on BugGuide as:  “Adult: mostly drab gray moths with some fine black streaking; forewing long and narrow; tuft of hairs projecting from thorax forms a large pointed hood over the head, giving adults a streamlined “aerodynamic” appearance (a distinctive feature).  Larva: usually smooth (hairless) and very colorful, with mixed patterns of spots, stripes, and/or patches of mostly yellow, red, green, blue, and black – the range of variation between species is too complex to describe in general terms.”  BugGuide also notes:  “larvae feed on flowers of composite plants (family Asteraceae) and leaves of several trees – varies according to species,” and the individuals in your images appear to be feeding on a plant in the Asteraceae family.  Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillars are among the most beautiful caterpillars we have represented on our site, and for that reason we have selected your submission as our Bug of the Month for September 2014.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: hairy Cicada?
Location: Leesburg, VA
August 30, 2014 12:26 pm
Thought this might be a cicada, but I’ve never seen such a hairy one before or with such huge eyes.
Signature: Alicia

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Red Footed Cannibalfly

Dear Alicia,
This magnificent, predatory Robber Fly is commonly called a Red Footed Cannibalfly, and this summer we have received more than the typical number of identification requests of Red Footed Cannibalflies from our readership.

Subject: Can you name this bug?
Location: Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Google maps: 19.522574, -96.927901
August 30, 2014 5:09 pm
Hello, I found this bug. It has at least one week living at the same leaf. Here is the raining season. It does not move even when is raining. However it’s alive because when I was taking some photographs it moved a bit. Could you help me to identify this bug?
Signature: J. A. K.

Cochineal, possibly

Parasitized Slug Caterpillar

Dear J.A.K.,
This appears to be a Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, and it has fallen victim to parasitic wasps, most likely in the family Braconidae.  This image from BugGuide depicts a Slug Caterpillar infested with Braconids.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your help. It’s a shame I can’t help this small caterpillar, c’est la vie!.
This “bug world” is amazing, I hope I can learn more.
Cheers,
J Ko.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wasp?
Location: ohio
August 31, 2014 5:42 am
Do wasps collect nectar?
Signature: kelley

Blue Winged Wasp

Blue Winged Wasp

Dear Kelley,
This is a Blue Winged Wasp or Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia, and like many wasps, adults feed on nectar.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults take nectar, may also feed on juices from beetle prey.  Larvae are parasites of green June beetles and Japanese beetles.”  Most young wasps are carnivorous, but they cannot hunt for food, so adult female Social Wasps hunt for prey and return to the nest with it to feed the young, or in the case of solitary wasps, they will sting and paralyze food to provide fresh meals when the eggs hatch and the larvae begin to feed.

Subject: Dragonfly Bug Love <3
Location: Clifton, Va
August 31, 2014 7:01 am
Found this amorous pair in Hemlock Park- Clifton, Va
Signature: Katie from Manassas

Mating Dragonflies

Mating Dragonflies

Hi Katie,
We believe your mating Dragonflies are Tiger Spiketails,
Cordulegaster erronea, based on this image from BugGuide and the distribution range.

Subject: Poisonous spider in Greece?
Location: Kos Island, Greece
August 30, 2014 4:50 pm
Hello,
during my visit in Asklepion on Greek island Kos, we found on the stairs this big black spider, about 7 cm long. It was quite aggressive, when I took it away from the visitors, on a long stick to the nearest forrest, it was biting the stick!
Could you please help me identify what kind of spider it was?
Signature: Olaf

Female Ladybird Spider

Female Ladybird Spider

Dear Olaf,
In our opinion, this looks like a female Ladybird Spider in the family Erisidae, a family with many endangered and rare species.  Ladybird Spiders get their common name because of the coloration and markings of many male spiders in the family, which are red with black spots.  Ladybird Spiders exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, and the larger, often black females appear to be distinctly different species from the male Ladybird Spiders.  See FlickR for a similar looking image  and SpiderzRule for additional information on Ladybird Spiders.