Subject: Spikey wasp? Coral caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug: Bolivia, Ascensión de Guarayos and Trinidad
Time: 05:57 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi Bugman. I have spent the last year working at an animal sanctuary in the Bolivian jungle which means I encounter a huge amount of strange insects daily. These two particularly caught my attention and would love to know what they are. Many thanks
How you want your letter signed: Chris
What you have mistaken for a “spikey wasp” is actually a stunning looking Assassin Bug, but we have not had any luck with a species identification. We can assure you that this is NOT a Blood-sucking Conenose Bug or Kissing Bug from the subfamily Triatominae, a group known to spread Chagas Disease. Many Assassin Bugs will deliver a painful bite if provoked or carelessly handled, but except for the Kissing Bugs, Assassin Bugs do not pose a threat to humans. This individual is a very effective wasp mimic. Perhaps Cesar Crash from Insetolgia will recognize it. We will attempt to identify your Caterpillar at a later time.
Update: December 20, 2019
Thanks to Cesar Crash and Brandon Thorpe submitting comments, we now know this is Zelurus festivus. There are also images on iNaturalist and Discover Life.