From the yearly archives: "2018"

Subject:  Wasp/Bee/Strange Specimen?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tumwater, Washington, near the Deschutes River
Date: 12/18/2018
Time: 01:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I caught this aggressive little guy alone when he landed on a plant near a riverbank in Tumwater, Washington – near Olympia. After hours of entomological research I cannot for the life of me find something with a thorax like this, but “furry”.
How you want your letter signed:  out-of-options

Robber Fly

Dear out-of-options,
Your identification research did not prove successful because, though it resembles a stinging insect, this is not a Bee nor a Wasp in the order Hymenoptera, but rather a predatory Robber Fly in the order Diptera and the family Asilidae.  It sure looks to us like it might be the Bee-like Robber Fly
Laphria columbica which is pictured on BugGuide and reported from Washington.

Subject:  Orthoptera Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Date: 12/19/2018
Time: 11:33 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Could you please help me identify this orthoptera?
Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  7Song

Katydid Ovipositing

Dear 7Song,
This is a marvelous image of a female Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae and she appears to be in the act of laying eggs.  It looks similar to the Tico Katydid,
Melanonotus tico, which is pictured on Getty Images.  We will attempt to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to get his opinion.

Katydid Correction Courtesy of Piotr Naskrecki
Hi Daniel,
It is a female of Idiarthron, based on the location (Limon Province) most likely I. hammuliferum.

Ed. Note:  There are images of this species on the Orthoptera Species File Online.

Thank you for your reply Daniel. I have been looking for someone to help me with this photo for a while now. I look forward to your response.
Whoops, I missed the second response, so thank you again. And a thank you to Piotr.

Subject:  Grasshopper identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Monteverde Rain Forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Date: 12/19/2018
Time: 10:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Could you please identify these insects
How you want your letter signed:  7Song

Grasshopper Nymphs

Dear 7Song,
These are immature Grasshoppers and immature individuals often look very different from adults, and there is often.  We will make an effort to provide you with an actual species identification.

Thank you Daniel
I figured they were juveniles but still couldn’t find their species. Thank you for any help you give with this and for your help with bug identification in general.

Subject:  Can you identify this bug please
Geographic location of the bug:  Ferny Creek, Melbourne Vic
Date: 12/16/2018
Time: 12:04 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi bug man,
Just wondering if you can tell me what this bug was. It was So pretty….
How you want your letter signed:  Tammara

Eucalyptus Borer

Dear Tammara,
While it appears to have met an unnatural end, your indication that “It was So pretty” causes us to speculate that you were not involved in this beetle’s demise.  Though it is an insect native to Australia, most of our images of Eucalyptus Borers are sent from Southern California where the beetle has naturalized because of an accidental introduction in about 1967.  There are many eucalyptus trees in Southern California, so when the Eucalyptus Borer was introduced, it had no trouble finding a food source.  According to Oz Animals:  “The larvae of the Eucalyptus Long-horned Borer attack Eucalypt trees. They mostly attack stressed or damaged trees. Evidence of borers includes holes in the bark and oozing fluid on trunk or branches. In severe cases foliage may wilt and limbs die back. They rarely kill healthy trees.” 

Thankyou Daniel for your reply!
We have lots of bugs in Ferny Creek, never spotted a live one.
We are surrounded by eucalypts and messmates as we live on the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
Thanks again for you time… I will keep an eye out for a living one .️

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Gauteng – Benoni, South Africa
Date: 12/17/2018
Time: 09:11 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there. Please can you identify this worm / caterpillar for me. It is about 10cm long. Also what do I do with it now to keep it alive?
How you want your letter signed:  Christa

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Christa,
This beauty is a Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar and the larval foodplants are “
Brugmansia suaveolens, Solanum jacquini, Solanum Jasminoides, Solanum macrocarpon, Tabebuia pallida, Clerodendrum ugandense, Mormordica charantia, Vitex, Jasminum pubigerum, Spathodea, Duranta erecta, Lantana camara,” according to African Moths.  Your individual appears to be fully grown, and it might have been searching for a good place to dig beneath the surface of the ground in order to pupate.  We suspect metamorphosis is near.

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Greater Los Angeles
Date: 12/15/2018
Time: 12:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you please help me identify this cool looking guy?
How you want your letter signed:  The Panthaky Family

Potato Bug

Dear Panthaky Family,
This is a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, one of our most common Southern California identification requests.  These subterranean dwellers are often sighted shortly after a significant rainstorm when they dig to the surface.