From the monthly archives: "September 2021"

Subject:  Unidentified Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Pope County, Arkansas
Date: 09/25/2021
Time: 12:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw these bugs on my doorjamb at about 8PM 9/25/21. The temperature was about 65 F/18.3 C degrees. For reference, my thumb in one picture is 3/4 inch/18mm wide. I’m in a small neighborhood built on a reclaimed swamp. Some remaining wetlands, open fields, and a small patch of woods are also nearby.
How you want your letter signed:  Miah

Muskmare and her diminutive mate

Dear Miah,
These are Striped Walkingsticks in the genus
Anisomorpha, a group that are commonly called Muskmares because mated pairs, with the considerably larger female carrying her diminutive mate, resemble a horse and its rider.  Approach with caution.  Striped Walkingsticks are able to shoot a noxious substance into a predator’s eyes with amazing accuracy.


Subject:  Jumping bug found in my home
Geographic location of the bug:  Edinburgh, Scotland, uk
Date: 09/29/2021
Time: 01:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi!
I recently was visited by this mystery bug. I have never seen anything quite like it in the uk. I submitted it to Reddit, but the closest they got was determining that it was a Katydid Nymph. We were unable to nail exactly what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Scott.

Katydid Nymph, but what species???

Dear Scott,
We agree with Reddit that this is a Katydid nymph, and like Reddit, we cannot make a conclusive identification.  We do not believe this is a species native to Scotland.  We will attempt to contact Piotr Naskrecki, renowned Katydid expert, to see if he can identify the species.  This would also be an unusual time of year to find a Katydid nymph of any species in Scotland as winter is approaching.  This is the time for adult Katydids in Scotland.

Subject:  Siver-ish Giant Spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Ohio
Date: 09/29/2021
Time: 03:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There’s this very big scary spider outside my house, what is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Cidrew

Banded Orbweaver

Dear Cidrew,
This is a Banded Orbweaver,
Argiope trifasciata, which is pictured on BugGuide.  Like other Orbweavers, they are not considered dangerous to humans.  Most Spiders have venom, and the venom is used to subdue prey, but very few Spiders have venom that is strong enough to adversely affect people.  Orbweavers rarely bite, but in the rare occasions when a bite occurs, it will only produce a localized soreness near the bite area.

Subject:  Weird jumping bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix arizona
Date: 09/29/2021
Time: 02:43 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These hugs appeared in my back yard. They jump not fly. Worried they bite
How you want your letter signed:  Not a desert girl


Dear Not a desert girl,
This is a Cricket.

Subject:  Please ID bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Island NY
Date: 09/26/2021
Time: 08:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I found this bug dead on my porch in Long Island, NY.
It is about 2.5 inches long.
Would you please let me know what type of bug this is?
Thank you very much!
How you want your letter signed:  Jim H.

Headless male Mantis

Dear Jim,
This is the body of a male Mantis, and considering that it is well documented that the female will eat the head of the male as he is mating with her.  Once he has initiated the mating and, if he is decapitated, he no longer has the instinct to escape danger, the coupling will continue for hours or possibly days.  We have images of decapitated male California Mantids mating in our archives.  Here is another.  We cannot be certain that a female Mantis caused this, it is our best guess, though we would not want to discount that there was another cause, possibly a predator.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much!!!
Take care,

Subject:  What’s this bug??
Geographic location of the bug:  East Los Angeles
Date: 09/28/2021
Time: 07:51 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Look at this guy! I think it’s high.
How you want your letter signed:  Dr. Greenthumb

Green Darner

Hey Dr. Greenthumb,
This awesome Dragonfly is a Green Darner.  There are many images of the male Green Darner using his anal claspers to grab the female by the neck during mating on the Natural History of Orange County website.  Dragonflies frequently rest on foliage, and your marijuana plant may have been the most convenient location for this individual to rest.  As to whether it got high, we cannot say, but we would never discount the possibility.