Subject:  What’s this jumping spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Louisville Ky USA
Date: 04/17/2019
Time: 06:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, can you id this tiny jumper for me? About sesame seed size, found on mailbox in Louisville Ky onApril 17, 2019. Thank you
How you want your letter signed:  Shelby

Jumping Spider

Dear Shelby,
We are posting your image of a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, though we did not manage to quickly identify it.  Perhaps one of our readers will write in with a proper species identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mexican beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Cima de Tepozteco
Date: 04/19/2019
Time: 11:46 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Looking to identify this photographed by a friend. Apparently known as escarabajo but I’m guessing that’s a generic name for several beetles.
How you want your letter signed:  Cliff

Giant Mexquite Bug nymph

Dear Cliff,
This is not a Beetle.  It is a Giant Mesquite Bug nymph, and they are frequently found feeding in groups.

Subject:  Pond Pupa?
Geographic location of the bug:  Connecticut
Date: 04/24/2019
Time: 03:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Good afternooon,
These little guys move with a jerking movement, are about 2mm in length, inhabit the water about 6-18 inches below the surface and are so numerous that it’s hard to believe.
How you want your letter signed:  Dylan

Water Fleas

Dear Dylan,
These are freshwater Crustaceans in the genus
Daphnia, commonly called Water Fleas because of the way they move through the water in a “jerking movement.”  Daphnia are a common live food used by many enthusiasts to feed aquarium fish.  You can find matching images on An Image-Based Key to the Zooplankton of North America and there is a nice drawing on Researchgate.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information:  “The genus Daphnia includes more than 100 known species of freshwater plankton organisms found around the world … They inhabit most types of standing freshwater except for extreme habitats, such as hot springs. All age classes are good swimmers and are mostly pelagic, i.e., found in the open water. They live as filter feeders, but some species may frequently be seen clinging to substrates such as water plants or even browsing over the bottom sediments of shallow ponds. Adults range from less than 1 mm to 5 mm in size, with the smaller species typically found in ponds or lakes with fish predation. The ecology of the genus Daphnia may be better known than the ecology of any other group of organisms.”

Water Fleas

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  It looks like Lucas the Singing Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Livingston Parish, Louisiana
Date: 04/20/2019
Time: 05:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My daughter and I found this cute little guy on our siding. All of him could fit on a dime without falling off. Any clue what species he is? I THINK jes a jumper but I’m not sure. His fur is what caught my eye. He literally turned and watched us both to see us from different angles. He was just as curious about us as we were of him.
How you want your letter signed:  Jackie and Sophie

Bold Jumper we believe

Dear Jackie and Sophie,
This is indeed a Jumping Spider in the family Salticidae, and as you observed, they have excellent eyesight.  Because of the green chelicerae, we believe this is a Bold Jumper,
Phidippus audax.

Subject:  Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  California
Date: 04/22/2019
Time: 07:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Bee
How you want your letter signed:  What kind of bee

Hover Fly

This is not a Bee.  It is a Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, a group that includes many members that mimic stinging Bees and Wasps for protection as the Hover Flies neither sting nor bite, and they benefit from being mistaken by predators for stinging insects.  We identified your individual as Eristalinus taeniops on The Natural History of Orange County.  The gap between the eyes on your individual identifies her as female.

Subject:  Black beetle, red wings
Geographic location of the bug:  Guilford, CT
Date: 04/22/2019
Time: 08:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Could you tell me what this bug is? There are a number of them in our front (southern exposure) garden. I can’t find a good match online.
How you want your letter signed:  Abigail W.

Blister Beetle: Tricrania sanguinipennis

Dear Abigail,
Generally, when we receive an identification request, we have at least an idea to what family a creature belongs, which makes research easier, but in the case of this Beetle, we were not even sure of a family.  We turned to Arthur V. Evans excellent book Beetles of Eastern North America and we eventually identified your colorful beetle as a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae,
Tricrania sanguinipennis, but it is very atypical looking for a Blister Beetle.  We located an image on BugGuide for comparison.  According to BugGuide, it is “A parasitoid of colonial bees, such as Colletes.” 

Thank you so much for replying! I’m glad to have provided a challenge. After contacting you, I remembered about our local agricultural station. They were also able to ID my beetle as the Tricrania. I’m guessing they are thoroughly enjoying my ground bees….
Abigail Wasserman.