From the monthly archives: "February 2019"

Subject:  Moth on Maya Beach
Geographic location of the bug:  Belize Ocean Club Resort, Maya Beach, Stann Creek, Belize
Date: 02/08/2019
Time: 02:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this large moth on the dock.
How you want your letter signed:  Brent

Black Witch

Dear Brent,
This is just about the most detailed image of a female tropical Black Witch that we have ever posted to our site.  These large moths are capable of flying great distances, sometimes 1000s of miles, even reaching Canada.

Detail of the wing of a Black Witch

Subject:  Caterpillar identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Illinois at Wisconsin border
Date: 02/07/2019
Time: 11:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this caterpillar stuck to the ice on 2-6-19, in the middle of winter during a period of very wintery weather.  It was in the yard, no where near any trees or bushes.  The temps have been generally near freezing, but we did have a warming a few days ago (temps in the high 40s) which was just after a sever cold (-27 neg numbers 3 days in a row).  This caterpillar had its back feet frozen into the ice but its body was soft and it is still alive after being warmed in the house.
How you want your letter signed:  Steve

Winter Cutworm

Dear Steve,
This is a Cutworm in the family Noctuidae, and based on the time of year and the conditions under which it was found, we are confident it is a Winter Cutworm,
Noctua pronuba, the caterpillar of the invasive Large Yellow Underwing.  According to BugGuide:  “Introduced from Europe to Nova Scotia in 1979, this species has since spread north to the Arctic Ocean, west to the Pacific, and south to the Gulf of Mexico.”

Subject:  Is this a ladybug?
Geographic location of the bug:  San Antonio tx
Date: 02/05/2019
Time: 12:57 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello I’m having trouble finding this bug online.
How you want your letter signed:  Erika garza

Leaf Beetle

Dear Erika,
This is not a Lady Beetle.  It is a Leaf Beetle in the genus
Calligrapha, but we are uncertain of the species.  According to BugGuide:  “38 spp. and sspp. in 4 subgenera in our area.”

Subject:  Sphodros rufipes?
Geographic location of the bug:  Huntingtown, Maryland
Date: 02/06/2019
Time: 01:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Have I correctly identified this guy and his he poisonous to humans and dogs?
How you want your letter signed:  Lori S

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Dear Lori,
This is indeed a beautiful, male Red Legged Purseweb Spider.  This species poses no significant threat to humans or animals.  According to Animal Diversity Web:  “These spiders are rarely encountered by humans and are not pests. While venomous, they only serve as a threat to those who are highly sensitive to insect bites.”

Thank you. I understand that it’s rare to see one….supposedly. Either way, I  thought it was a beautiful sight. Thank you for getting back to me.
Lori Sampson

Subject:  Ugly spiders
Geographic location of the bug:  Arizona
Date: 02/05/2019
Time: 02:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I’m NOT a fan of spiders in my home, & we’ve seen Huntsmen Spiders here about 6″ crawling on the ceiling @ night-freaked me out!! I do have a healthy fascination for the tarantulas because they don’t come into my home!lol
While cleaning up debris outdoors at our new home we discovered 3 of the UGLIEST spiders, & after closer examination, we realized we uncovered baby tarantulas that grow to be absolutely stunning!! We felt badly as it’s now the cold winter so I felt badly as many species of tarantulas are in a rapid decline due to habitat loss & the pet trade, & we were able to find them a new home, however, we discovered that people who have lived here their entire lives have NEVER seen spiderlings, so here they are!
Desert Blondie (Aphonopelma Chalcodes)
How you want your letter signed:  Sheila

Immature Tarantula

Dear Sheila,
Our first inclination was that your images picture Trapdoor Spiders, which are classified with Tarantulas in the infraorder Mygalomorphae, but upon thoroughly reading what you wrote, and then researching on BugGuide, we agree that these are immature Tarantulas.  Thanks so much for sending in your images, and because, despite your dislike for Spiders, you took the trouble to relocate these immature Tarantulas, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Immature Tarantula

Dear Daniel,
I LOVE Tarantulas, & unfortunately, sadly they’re in decline all over the world, much of it due to pet trade! They are truly peaceful creatures and a threat to no one!
Thanks so much for honoring me with that reward, I feel very humbled seeing that many others do the same, although most everyone that looked at the pics “felt the hair stand up all over”! lol
Keep up the good work as you definitely have people look at bugs differently & in a positive way than they might have previously!

Hi Sheila,
We are presuming you meant “pet trade” and not “pest trade” so we are making a correction.

Subject:  Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Ireland
Date: 02/06/2019
Time: 08:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have found two of theses and my skin is itchy could you tell me what it is
How you want your letter signed:  I don’t understand this


This is a terrestrial Isopod known as a Woodlouse and we doubt it has anything to do with your itchiness.