From the monthly archives: "October 2019"

Subject:  What is this insect?
Geographic location of the bug:  Christchurch New Zealand
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 08:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m unsure what this is, at first I thought it was a blowfly so I swatted it and then I noticed the yellow colouring on its back and was worried it may be a bee of some sort
How you want your letter signed:  Isaac Thomas

Three Lined Hover Fly

Dear Isaac,
This is a harmless Three Lined Hoverfly,
Helophilus seelandicus.  According to Landcare Research:  “Attracts attention because of its noisy flight.  Important pollinator of flowers.  Larvae are rat tailed maggots which live in liquid containing rotting plants or animals.”

Subject:  Varition of Morocco horned caterpillar color
Geographic location of the bug:  Closest to Erfoud, Morocco
Date: 10/08/2019
Time: 10:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello BugMan! I wanted to show you this variation in color of the (perhaps) Barbary Spurge? Hornworm.(OR tell me the exact ID; I see some with two dots!) We found these while riding camels in Erg Chebbi sand dunes on the vegetation shown. We gently tickled one and put him on a leaf to better photograph. Then we put him back on leaves. There were LOTS of them! They can make their way quite fast over the sand when looking for another bush! I took the photos on September 26, 2019. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Cynthia S.

Hornworm from genus Hyles.

Dear Cynthia,
This hornworm is definitely from the genus Hyles, but we cannot be certain of the species.  It does look most to us like the Barberry Spurge Hawkmoth caterpillar pictured on Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic.

Subject:  Creepy cray fish looking wasp bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Logan ohio
Date: 10/08/2019
Time: 02:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this weird looking thing while hiking in Hawking Hills. What is this thing!?
How you want your letter signed:  Erin k

Mole Cricket

Dear Erin,
This is a Mole Cricket, a subterranean dweller that often surprises folks who encounter it on the surface.

Subject:  What kind of moth/butterfly ?
Geographic location of the bug:  Cuba, Cayo Coco
Date: 10/08/2019
Time: 12:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I’ve searched as much as possible but I really cannot find anything on this kind of moth. It doesn’t look like it has antennas so I would assume it’s more of a moth than a butterfly. It has a very specific wings shaped like the “helicopter seed” and they really looks like leaves, a nice camouflage. It was found hanging on a wall, early afternoon on the island of Cuba at the start of October.
How you want your letter signed:  Phil

Streaked Sphinx

Dear Phil,
This is a Streaked Sphinx,
Protambulyx strigilis, and we identified it on Sphingidae of the Americas where it states that it:  “flies in tropical and subtropical lowlands from Florida and throughout Central America.”

Subject:  Polyphemus
Geographic location of the bug:  Florida
Date: 10/06/2019
Time: 01:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this almost becoming prey to a bird when I came outside. Luckily I scared the bird off but the moth was struggling to get up. I put the dog inside and came back out to find it waddling up the tree to safety. Can you tell if it’s a female, pregnant, or going to be ok? Is there anything I can do?
How you want your letter signed:  Concerned neighbor

Female Polyphemus Moth

Dear Concerned neighborh,
This is indeed a Polyphemus Moth and she is a female moth.  Since all Giant Silkmoths, including the Polyphemus, do not feed as adults, they only have a few days to mate and produce a new generation, so virtually all female Polyphemus Moths are “pregnant”.  You should let nature takes its course, but your kind actions in rescuing this individual from a bird has earned you the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Subject:  Big wasp looking thing
Geographic location of the bug:  Frederick County Maryland
Date: 10/06/2019
Time: 04:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this big bee/wasp eating a fig in my garden. Much bigger than anything I’ve seen here.
How you want your letter signed:  Garden Guy

European Hornet

Dear Garden Guy,
As you can see by comparing your image to this BugGuide image, you encountered a European Hornet.  According to BugGuide:  “native to Eurasia,
V. c. germana introduced to e. N. Amer. (1800s).”