From the yearly archives: "2020"

Subject:  Prehistoric Wasp-ish Bug Creature ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Leming, TX, USA
Date: 07/08/2020
Time: 08:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman, I have seen the attached waspish creature here in the Texas Brush Country in summers past. It’s about 1.5-2 inches tall, and it looks like it’s wearing a fuzzy sweater vest. Just seems to sit there and stare at me, hence the desire to know something about my observer. Thanks a bunch in advance, Bugman.
How you want your letter signed:  Debbie LV

Robber Fly: Possibly Saropogon hypomelas

Dear Debbie,
This is one impressive predatory Robber Fly, and Texas has its share of giant Robber Flies.  We believe your individual is in the genus
Saropogon, possibly Saropogon hypomelas which is pictured on BugGuide.

Hi Daniel, WOW! I am so glad to know we have an obviously well-fed beneficial! That eats grasshoppers and grasshopper eggs! I will be sure to express appreciation instead of abject fear when next we meet.Thank you so much for your reply.

Subject:  Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Chester,CT
Date: 07/05/2020
Time: 11:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this beautiful moth when I was out walking last week.  I am not sure the exact name of this bug, hoping you can help!
How you want your letter signed:  Heather S.

Pandorus Sphinx

Dear Heather,
This beauty is a Pandorus Sphinx, and according to iNaturalist:  “Female adults lay translucent eggs singly on leaves of the host plant, mainly
Vitis (grapes), and Parthenocissus (Virginia creeper). Caterpillars are large, green or red with a swollen third thorax segment into which the head and first two thoractic segments can be drawn. The abdomen has a small white spot on the second segment, and big white oval spots the last five spiracles. They also have the characteristic “horn” at the end of the abdomen, until it is replaced by a button in its last instar. Larvae consume copious amounts of foliage, and when they are ready they climb down their host plant and burrow underground, where they pupate. The pupa is dark brown in color, quite slender, and has a long cremaster. There the pupa will remain for either a couple of weeks or a couple of months, depending on the generation. When the pupa is ready, it wiggles to the surface just prior to eclosion. The newly emerged adults then climb on a plant or some other surface, and pump fluid into their wings to extend them. Females emit pheromones at night, and males fly into the wind to pick up and track the pheromone plume. “

Subject:  Unidentified Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Near Houston Texas
Date: 07/06/2020
Time: 04:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My mom and I found this caterpillar among her milkweed plants. She raises monarch butterflies, but this one is new. Neither of us have ever seen this kind of caterpillar before.
It was found July 6th, 2020, at around 3:15 PM.
How you want your letter signed:  Kris Prodoehl

Queen Caterpillar

Dear Chris,
The Monarch is not the only Milkweed Butterfly in the genus
Danaus that is found in Texas.  We believe your caterpillar is that of the related Queen Butterfly, Danaus gilippus, which is pictured on BugGuide.  Queen Caterpillars look similar to Monarch Caterpillars, but they have an additional set of “tentacles” and you were quite astute to observe this difference.

Subject:  Identification of insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Grand Rapids, MI
Date: 07/07/2020
Time: 06:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I don’t know what this insect is.  I found it on a door frame in the morning on a summer day.
Thank you for any information you can provide.
How you want your letter signed:  M.J. Moriarty

Male Glowworm Beetle

Dear MJ,
This is a male Glowworm Beetle.
  According to BugGuide:  “mostly nocturnal; males come to lights.”

Subject:  Fly? Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northwest Indiana
Date: 07/07/2020
Time: 09:14 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! We found this fella floating in our pool. I have lived here all my life and have never seen a fly/wasp this big! Can you identify?
How you want your letter signed:  Carrie

Mydas Fly

Dear Carrie,
This is a harmless Mydas Fly, and it is widely believed that this Mydas Fly,
Mydas clavatus, benefits from mimicking a stinging wasp. 

Subject:  What kind of beetle is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Western New York
Date: 07/07/2020
Time: 10:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There is a large beetle looking bug out this evening. 1.5-2 inches in length, oval body,  big round eyes and the shell is green, black/blue and brown.
How you want your letter signed:  M

Predaceous Diving Beetle

Dear M,
This is a Predaceous Diving Beetle in the family Dytiscidae, probably in the genus
Dytiscus, and possibly Dytiscus fasciventris which is pictured on BugGuide and described as:  “only the anterior and lateral margins of pronotum are bordered by a broad pale stripe (posterior margin not bordered); lateral margin of elytron bordered by broad pale stripe on basal half only remainder of dorsal surface brown, brownish-black, or green; ventral surface yellow to reddish except metacoxa yellow and metasternum brownish-black medially.” Though they are aquatic, Predaceous Diving Beetles can fly from pond to pond and they are sometimes attracted to lights.

Awesome response time haha! Thank you so much!

Our timing aligned.