Subject:  What type of spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  South Florida
Date: 04/16/2021
Time: 10:43 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What type of spider is this in my bathroom?
How you want your letter signed:  Jakob


Dear Jakob,
This is a nocturnal hunting spider (does not build a web for snaring prey) in the genus
Selenops, commonly called a Flattie, and here is a BugGuide image that looks very similar.  According to BugGuide:  “This genus is found throughout the tropics and subtropics worldwide and can be found in southern parts of the U.S. ”  This shy group of Spiders is not a threat to humans.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this guy?
Geographic location of the bug:  Raleigh NC
Date: 04/15/2021
Time: 06:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this odd critter on my back porch. About 3” long, relatively flat. Would love to get him to the correct habitat and what he will become.
How you want your letter signed:  Lisa & Doug

Underwing Caterpillar, probably

Dear Lisa & Doug,
We believe this is an Underwing Caterpillar in the genus Catocala, but we haven’t the required skills to provide you with a species identification.  Due to its size, we suspect this individual was searching for an appropriate place in which to pupate.  Of one species, the Bug Lady on the University of Milwaukee website states:  “When it’s time to pupate, they make a minimalist pupal case using silk and leaf litter.”  We would release it on the ground in a protected area with leaf litter that will not be cleared in the near future.  Many pupating caterpillars form a cocoon in leaf litter on the ground, and fastidious leaf raking in suburban yards likely produces numerous casualties.  Underwing Moths are so named because their forewings are often camouflages to resemble bark, while the underwings are brightly colored.  The moth attracts attention when flying and then disappears, thwarting a predator, when it lands on a tree trunk.

Subject:  Scary Black Bug that Lives in our little boys Restroom
Geographic location of the bug:  San Gabriel Valley -California
Date: 04/16/2021
Time: 10:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found a large black bug w/wings in my little boys bathroom. Came out of nowhere. My 3 year old and 7 year refuse to ever go back in the bathroom ever again. They think there may be “millions” living in the walls of the restroom. Help! Help me educate them and end the fear of the the “scary black bug”…
How you want your letter signed:  Frustrated Mommy

Dead Female Valley Carpenter Bee

Dear Frustrated Mommy,
Your request did not indicate if your found this female Valley Carpenter Bee in its present state, dead, or if it was a live flying creature when it was discovered and when it scared your boys.  We suspect the latter and we won’t lecture you on Unnecessary Carnage.  We suspect this individual found its way into the house, became disoriented, and then in the loud manner in which this species flies, it proceeded to fly clumsily indoors, buzzing loudly the entire time, and to youngsters who are often taught to fear the unknown, that experience must have been truly terrifying.  Valley Carpenter Bees are not an aggressive species, and females rarely sting.  Furthermore, this is a solitary Bee meaning there is not a nest with”‘millions’ living in the walls of the restroom.”  This species has begun flying in Southern California and Daniel began seeing females a few weeks ago, and the sexually dimorphic golden colored males which appear to be a different species, began appearing about a week ago.  Male Valley Carpenter Bees lack stingers and are incapable of stinging.  The female Valley Carpenter excavates a tunnel in dead wood, with tree stumps and telephone poles being common nest sites.  Assure your youngsters that they can use their restroom assured that there is no colony in the walls and that this luckless female Valley Carpenter Bee accidentally entered your home.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mourning Cloak not yet awake in the morning
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 04/15/2021
Time: 06:55 AM PDT
Daniel had to leave early this morning for an MRI and he noticed a dark shape near the curb under a wisteria that is dropping dried blossoms.  Closer inspection revealed a Mourning Cloak that spent the night on the ground and because the sun hadn’t yet hit it, it was still quite lethargic.  Daniel has been seeing Mourning Cloaks flying for several weeks now.

Mourning Cloak

Subject:  Texas beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Big Bend N.P.
Date: 04/14/2021
Time: 05:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you identify these beetles found feeding on Lupine?
How you want your letter signed:  H2oggre

Blister Beetle: Lytta cribrata

Dear H2oggre,
Thanks for sending multiple camera angles of your Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae.  We believe based on this BugGuide image that it is Lytta cribrata, but we would not rule out a different species in the genus.  It is described on BugGuide as: “Pronotoum black at center, broadly orange at sides; head with a diamond-shaped orange frontal spot” and its range is listed as:  “sw. TX (Chinati Mts and Eagle Pass), Mexico (Chihuahua, Durango).”  Does that match your location in Texas?

Blister Beetle: Lytta cribrata

Thank you Daniel.
Yes it does match Chihuahuan desert area. I need to look up what the “Pronotoum” is, though. If is the center “thorax section” [before the black section with its wings; yet behind the red and black section with its eyes and antennae] that fits the description. It certainly matched the color markings if that is what I think the pronotoum is.
The lobed antennae seemed to me rather distinctive as does the y-shaped pincer tipped legs. Any mention of those in the description of Lytta cribrate?
Plus the wings are very textured. That is not dew on the surface.
I really appreciate your help Daniel.
Richard Todd

Blister Beetle: Lytta cribrata

Good morning Richard.  The Pronotum is defined on BugGuide as:  ” the upper surface of the prothorax, the first segment of the thorax. Shape of the pronotum is often important in identification of beetles, and many other groups.”  While Coleopterists, entomologists who specialize in Beetles, have an extensive vocabulary of terms they use to describe characteristics, we believe punctate, which is defined on BugGuide as “marked by spots, dots, points, depressions, or punctures” could be used to describe the texture of the elytra or wing covers on the Blister Beetles you observed.

Subject:  Butterfly ID please
Geographic location of the bug:  Iguazu Fall, Nissiones province, Argentina
Date: 04/14/2021
Time: 10:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Could you ID this butterfly please. Photo taken on Feb.28. 2020 at Iguazu Falls, Argentina
How you want your letter signed:  Vlad Morozov

Small Eyed Sailor

Dear Vlad,
This pretty little butterfly is
Dynamine artemisia, commonly called a Small Eyed Sailor, and we found it on the Fauna Paraguay site where it states:  “Like all Dynamine this species is most easily identified by its underwing pattern which show the “sideways spectacles” of most other “blue sailors” but diagnostically lack the obvious “eyespots” present in other species. It is closest to Dynamine aerata and males are only reliably distinguished by the presence of clear dark eyespots in the “sideways spectacles”. Dynamine postverta has the most marked “eyespots” of all on the ventral hindwing, whilst males are easily distinguished by the presence of large black spots on the forewing. Female postverta has numerous large white spots on the forewing (5 in this species) and three thin white bands across the hindwing (two broad bands in this species). Dynamine tithiais the most distinctive of the “blue sailors” having an underwing pattern that is mostly white and more reminiscent of the “white sailors”. Males of that species are a much deeper blue in colour and have a diagonal row of three large whitish postmedial spots and two small white apical spots surrounded by black on the forewing.”  Here is another image from FlickR.

Thank you very much Daniel.
The whole week I was digging net for results without success