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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Alabama
Date: 09/10/2017
Time: 11:27 AM EDT
I am doing a bug project and I need to have this bug identified
How you want your letter signed:  Evan

Bug Collection

Dear Evan,
Your attached image is not of a bug, but of a collection that contains 15 creatures or creature parts that we suspect you are requesting us to identify for you.  Additionally, we are presuming your “need” is in some way related to credit for a course of study for which you will be receiving a grade.  Many years ago we posted a submission we titled What’s That Bug will not do your child’s homework and we still stand by that policy.  We fully understand the pedagogy of teachers assigning an insect collection as a learning exercise in a science class, but we are appalled at the disregard shown by many desperate students who request (and often demand) our assistance as their deadlines approach.  We suspect there was some lecture material on the taxonomy of identification provided to you in class, and that there is perhaps even a text book for your class that has some information that you could use to begin searching for the information you need to complete your bug project.  
You may search our extensive archives, or find other sources on the internet including BugGuide where you should be able to find the answers you desire within a few hours.  We graciously decline your request for us to do your homework for you.  If we have misinterpreted your request, please let us know. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Metallic Green Sweat Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Powhatan, VA
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 10:40 AM EDT
I have lived in this area for many years and never noticed this type of bee. My fiance’ planted an African Blue Basil plant that is flourishing and it had a couple dozen of these bees all over it for several days. Quickly identified it through your site. Now I’m hooked on looking up the bugs we have around here. Thank you for the work you do putting this site together.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike Talbert – Powhatan, VA

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Mike,
We were hoping we would find a gorgeous image of an insect we have never featured as Bug of the Month this morning, and your submission is perfect.  Your enthusiasm over sighting this Metallic Green Sweat Bee is refreshing, and your image makes a gorgeous Bug of the Month for September, 2017.  Metallic Green Sweat Bees seem to be attracted to purple flowers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s That Bug? turns fifteen today!!!
Dear faithful readers,
What’s That Bug? has several dates that we acknowledge.  We started as a column in the zine American Homebody in May 1998, and when the now defunct website American Homebody went live in 2001, we had our first presence on the internet.  See the history of American Homebody on Lisa Anne Auerbach’s site. We existed in that format for a year, and then on August 25, 2002, we registered the www.whatsthatbug.com domain, and this was our first posting as a unique website.  There was no image with that submission, and we found an image from the internet to use.  That launch date for our site predates the popularity of cellular telephones with the ability to take images.  Early submissions to our site required actual digital cameras to provide images.  Through the years, our mission has always been to educate people to appreciate and tolerate the lower beasts.  Interestingly, Longhorn Beetles, the category of that first posting, is still the most populated category on our site with 1012 postings as of right now.  Here is a gorgeous image of a Banded Alder Borer from our archives.

Banded Alder Borer (from our archives)

Fanmail
Congratulations dear Daniel!  Your site is so fascinating and you have maintained it faithfully and you have followers all over the world.  Thank you for keeping us intrigued.
Best,
Monique

Daniel,
WTB is a great resource for me, particularly as it’s imbued with Daniel’s humor, as well as his knowledge.
Particularly fun is the Bug Love section 😀
Daniel’s beautiful book, “The Curious World of Bugs”,
( Ours is signed to Jessica with the admonition: “Do good work on the dark continent; and Don’t let the Creechies bite”)
should be on everyone’s shelf, as far as I’m concerned!

Congratulations on keeping us up to date for so long on bugs far and wide, Daniel!
Here is a photo of Ariadne, who will be 32 next month.
Sending her kind regards with mine!
Clare

Ariadne the Tarantula

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note August 7, 2017
Recently we have been receiving requests to identify creatures on Woody Plants, so we decided to create a new tag:  What’s on my Woody Plant? to cover insects found on
Cannabis.
Our Facebook followers are clamoring for more coverage of Woody Plants.

Female Green Lynx Spider on Woody Plant

Jeff Lanterman wrote on August 4:  “Please more Woody Plant bug submissions!

Judith Barnard Smith wrote on August 5:  “wish there were a way to actually subscribe because I could become a bug addict…..”

Ed. Note August 8, 2017
And in the interest of balanced posting, there are some detractors.

Michael Steele wrote on August 8:  “Stop with the ‘woody plant’ shit man. You do that every time someone sends you a pot photo. Nobody here is stupid. Just say cannabis.” and “People aren’t requesting it that way, you are posting it as it being requested that way. Get off the gas. Again, nobody is buying your story.”

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider on my other Woody Plant
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 7, 2017 9:22 pm
Dear Bugman,
You have already identified one male Green Lynx Spider on my woody plant, but now this Green Lynx Spider is on my other woody plant in a different part of the garden.  This is my first time growing woody plants, which are really nothing more than weeds with benefits, and I am surprised at how easy they are to grow.  All they need is sun and water.  I am really fascinated with the ecosystem that exists on an individual plant and I love learning about beneficial creatures in the garden like this Green Lynx Spider.  What more can you tell me about Green Lynx Spiders?
Signature:  Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider on Woody Plant

Dear Constant Gardener,
Your submission is perfectly timed to launch our newest tag:  What’s on my Woody Plant?  With more and more people growing legally at home, and with organic, pesticide free cultivation critical, we hope to educate the web browsing public of the importance of natural predators.  This is a female Green Lynx Spider.  She has smaller pedipalps and she is more robust physically than is the male.  She is probably much more likely to remain on a plant where there is good hunting and she may eventually lay eggs that she will guard with her life.  Green Lynx Spiders do not build webs to hunt but they do build a messy web to protect the eggs.  Green Lynx Spiders pounce on their prey from some distance and they are able to take down large prey.  They frequently perch on the tips of branches, especially those with blossoms or those that attract insects.  They have excellent eyesight and they can catch winged prey.  When he first moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, Daniel once watched a Green Lynx Spider leap from a rose to just nearly miss a Cabbage White that was flying about a foot away.  The spider missed but returned to its branch thanks to a silken anchor line.  We believe your “Woody Plant” is pollinated by the wind and not by insects, but if your plant is attracting phytophagous species like Hemipterans and Grasshoppers, they will likely become food for this beautiful Green Lynx Spider.  Please continue to send us images of creatures you find on your “Woody Plant”.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

January 12, 2017
From Our Facebook Fans Regarding Angry Reader #12

Jeff Lanterman
January 12 at 10:56am
Did he think that was funny? Sometimes I don’t understand people.

Sean Gaukroger
January 12 at 12:59pm
Huh? Today’s Sphinx moth brought to you by the letter “F”?

Lisa Phillips
January 12 at 2:54pm
Thank you for the identification & sorry this person is rude. I myself look forward to your posts. Keep up your fascinating work 🐛

Heather Christensen
January 12 at 3:49pm
We love your posts! I have not yet submitted any critters needing identification, but my son and I always keep our eye out. This guy is a clown, and definitely deserves the coveted “Nasty Reader” title. Keep up the great work, we love you guys. 🐌🐛🐜🐝🐞🕷🦂

An angry reader gives us the finger

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Gentle Readers,
The editorial staff from What’s That Bug? will be away from the office for the holidays.  We will not be responding to any identification requests until 2017, but we have postdated submissions to go live to our site daily in our absence.  Enjoy the holidays.

Update:  January 2, 2017
We have returned and we are trying to catch up on all the emails that arrived while we were away.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination