From the monthly archives: "August 2018"

Subject:  Caterpillar Found on a tomato plant
Geographic location of the bug:  Bridgeview, IL
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 10:09 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Are those eggs on it’s back?  Do i need to worry?
How you want your letter signed:  Steve Guptill

Parasitized Tobacco Hornworm

Dear Steve,
Your caterpillar is a Tobacco Hornworm, and what you have mistaken for eggs are the pupae of a parasitic Braconid Wasp.

Subject:  Giant Grub Metamorphosis
Geographic location of the bug:  Vista, CA
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 02:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Update:  August 26, 2018
Hi Guys,
Here are links to pics:
Pupa –

Adult –

Specimen got away before I could get a good shot of it fully developed.

Giant Sphinx: Newly formed pupa

Dear John,
Thanks so much for providing images of the metamorphosis of the Giant Sphinx,
Cocytius antaeus.  They are a wonderful addition to the image of the Hornworm you submitted last month.

Giant Sphinx

Pupated on 7-26-18 and hatched on 8-17-18 – just in case data was lost when uploaded.

Giant Sphinx

Subject:  hundreds swammed in yard
Geographic location of the bug:  kentucky
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 01:09 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  At first I thought these had something to do with the bag worms in a tree in my yard, but I have no idea what these are, maybe a bee? It’s a full blown infestation.
How you want your letter signed:  billie

Scarab Hunter Wasps

Dear billie,
These are Wasps in the family Scoliidae,
Scolia dubia, commonly called Scarab Hunter Wasps, Digger Wasps or Blue Winged Wasps, and they are not aggressive toward humans.  Female Scarab Hunter Wasps prey upon the grubs of Scarab Beetles, including Japanese Beetles, and the large number you have encountered indicates that last year, many Beetles did not mature as they provided food for the current generation.  We suspect they are interested in the evergreen shrub because they are feeding on sweet sap.

Subject:  Wtf is this?!?
Geographic location of the bug:  New Orleans, LA
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 01:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this alien on my cactus pot. It looks like it has antenna coming from the top and is about 1 inch wide. I’ve never seen anything like it.
How you want your letter signed:  Chris

Head of a Cicada

Dear Chris,
This is the head of a Cicada, and we have several images in our archives of decapitated Cicada heads.  Our best educated guess is that a bird or some other predator fed on the fatty body of the Cicada, and neglected to eat the hard and not especially nutritious head.

Subject:  Big fly looking bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Minnesota State fair 2018
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 08:29 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Mr/Ms  Bug person .
I was walking to my car and  tripped over this Hugh bug. I’m sure  it fell off a out of state vehicle, I can only pray.
I’ve  never seen a bug in MN  like this big.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in Minnesota


Dear Curious in Minnesota,
Last we checked, Minnesota is still called The Land of 10,000 Lakes, so there is plenty of habitat for this aquatic, predatory Giant Water Bug or Toe-Biter.  We are pretty certain it is a local species for you.

Subject:  Not sure what this is
Geographic location of the bug:  Fishhawk Falls, Oregon
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 07:42 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I’m a photographer.  I spotted this little guy the other day and thought it was some kind of caterpillar but, it doesn’t match anything I’ve seen in the area.  as far as I know Its a larva to some bug .  Thank you for your time.
How you want your letter signed:  FilthyPerfection

Sawfly Larva

Dear FilthyPerfection,
Though it looks like a caterpillar, this is actually a Sawfly larva, and Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of bees and wasps.  Based on this BugGuide image and this BugGuide image, we are confident it is
Trichiosoma triangulum.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of alders (Alnus), ash (Fraxinus), poplars (Populus), willows (Salix), cherries (Prunus).”