From the monthly archives: "May 2019"

Subject:  In mexico
Geographic location of the bug:  Mexico by Lake Chapala
Date: 05/13/2019
Time: 09:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My mom found this caterpillar and its MASSIVE. Just trying to see if we could figure out what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Should we build a caterpillar wall?

Hornless Hornworm is Typhon Sphinx

This is a Hornworm in the family Sphingidae.  Most Hornworms have caudal horns, but some genera and species shed the horn during molting before they reach maximum size.  This Hornworm is in the genus Eumorpha, one genus that characteristically have caterpillars that are hornless Hornworms.  We believe we have correctly identified your Hornworm as the caterpillar of the Typhon Sphinx, Eumorpha typhon, thanks to images posted to Sphingidae of the Americas. where it states:  “larvae feed upon grape species.”  Are there grape vines nearby?  This individual was probably looking for a good place to dig into soft soil to pupate.  According to Butterflies and Moths of North America:  “Caterpillars pupate in shallow underground cells” and “Range: Honduras north through Mexico to southern Arizona.


Subject:  Need help with identifiyng bug
Geographic location of the bug:  California
Date: 05/13/2019
Time: 05:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, we have an issue with this little bug all over our yard. They mostly hide in dark areas like under leaves , wood what ever they can find. They are now starting to come into the house and they jump all over and are very tiny. They do not seem to bite however I’m not 100% sure.
How you want your letter signed:  Justin


Hi Justin,
These are benign Springtails in the order Collembola, and they are arguably the most common creatures on land.  When conditions are favorable (generally damp conditions) they can get so numerous as to be a nuisance, but they pose no threat to humans.  In our opinion and the opinion of many, they are actually beneficial because they help to break down rotting organic matter so that it can be incorporated into fertile soil.

Subject:  Beetle, what family?
Geographic location of the bug:  Worcester, Western Cape, South Africa
Date: 05/13/2019
Time: 04:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  About 10mm long. Moves along very fast, wants to burrow into soil as soon as it can. Very adept at turning back on its feet once overturned.
How you want your letter signed:  Marthinus

Darlking Beetle

Dear Marthinus,
We believe this is a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae.  We are not certain of the species.

Subject:  Black spotted bug with red head
Geographic location of the bug:  Idaho, USA
Date: 05/13/2019
Time: 01:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found a bunch of these tiny little bugs crawling in my bedroom windowsill. They look to be grayish with black spots and a red head. Any idea what they are?
How you want your letter signed:  Brandi

Globular Springtail

Dear Brandi,
This looks like a benign Globular Springtail to us.  See BugGuide for additional information.

Subject:  Assasin or Leaf-Footed?
Geographic location of the bug:  Cape Coral, FL
Date: 05/03/2019
Time: 07:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m trying to decipher if these are assassins or Leaf-Footed, I read that assassins can be carriers of Chagas Disease.  If we have assassins in our garden I want to know about it.
Thank you for your time and sharing your knowledge.
How you want your letter signed:  Please identify this bug.

Leaf Footed Bug Nymphs

These are Leaf Footed Bug nymphs, probably in the genus Leptoglossus, and though they are harmless to you, they will feed on the tomatoes .  Additionally, not all Assassin Bugs are a concern, though many will bite if carelessly handled.  Only the Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs run the risk of carrying the pathogen that causes Chagas Disease, a condition that is relatively rare in North America.  Chagas Disease is more of a concern in the tropics.

Leaf Footed Bug Nymphs

Thank you for your time.  As I tried looking at various picture on the internet, I couldn’t identify these bugs because of the large dots on the back abdomen.

Subject:  Unknown bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, California
Date: 05/03/2019
Time: 12:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My son saw this tiny bug on his shoulder and freaked out. We would like to know what it is. It’s about 3mm long. Thank you in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  June

Human Louse

Dear June,
You have cause for concern.  This is a Human Louse.