Subject:  What’s this wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Melbourne
Date: 01/20/2018
Time: 05:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Wondering what this is
How you want your letter signed:  LB

Bottlebrush Sawfly

Dear LB,
While this Bottlebrush Sawfly is classified in the same insect order, Hymenoptera, as the wasps and bees, it is not considered either.  Unlike wasps and bees, Sawflies, including this Bottlebrush Sawfly, do not sting.

Bottlebrush Sawfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Graaf Reniet, South Africa
Date: 01/21/2018
Time: 12:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this interesting beetle at the Valley of Desolation outside Graaf Reniet in South Africa. The thorax and abdomen are perfectly round and the legs are grey,  not black. I have not been able to find it on the Internet.
How you want your letter signed:  Andy Smith

Tok-Tokkie

Dear Andy,
This is a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae, and we believe it is one of a group from South Africa known as Tok-Tokkies, and according to Urban Ministry Live and Unplugged:  “It is called a tok-tokkie because it communicates with other beetles through tapping on the ground. It is a harmless, good-natured beetle.”  You can find a similar looking Tok-Tokkie on FlickRiver, and similar looking individuals are pictured on iSpot where it is identified as a member of the genus
Psammodes, and in this iSpot image, the gray legs you observed are quite evident.

Subject:  A mystery Shield Bug in Costa Rica
Geographic location of the bug:  San Ramon, Costa Rica
Date: 01/20/2018
Time: 01:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug in a bromeliad leaf. It’s so pretty and I wanted to find out what he was. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Irene Dickinson

Shield Bug

Dear Irene,
This really is a beautiful Shield Bug in the family Scutellaridae, and it is quite apparent why in parts of the world, Shield Bugs are called Jewel Bugs, notably Australia, as this Queensland Museum posting indicates.  Alas we were not having any luck locating images online of white Shield Bugs from Costa Rica, so we turned to our own archives where we have an image posted of a Spotted Shield Bug,
Pachycoris torridus, from Costa Rica that looks similar but is quite different in both colors and markings.  We thought perhaps your individual might be in the same genus.  We were actually shocked to learn it is the same species, based on this image from Project Noah.  According to Neotropical Entomology there is much variation in both colors and markings for this species.

Shield Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What kind of bug is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  oahu,Hi
Date: 01/19/2018
Time: 01:34 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just would like to know what it is.
How you want your letter signed: Sam

Big Legged Bug

Dear Sam,
This is a Big Legged Bug or Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae.  Many insects in Hawaii are not native, and it is very likely that this is an introduced species.  Except for being darker, it really resembles the Sweet Potato Bug,
Physomerus grossipes, pictured on Graham’s Island where it states it:  “is a fairly recent introduction to Hawaii, most likely sneaking in on an imported plant. It’s from the family Coreidae, otherwise known as leaf footed bugs. It feeds by sucking juices out of various plants, including sweet potatoes. I found this one wandering across a window screen, some distance from anything edible.”  The images on Encyclopedia of Life also look very similar, but the images on the highly entertaining posting No Thighmaster Needed by This Bug on Hawaii Horticulture appear to be a different species in the family.

Big Legged Bug

 

Subject:  Can you identify this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Andalusia, spain
Date: 01/20/2018
Time: 09:24 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I was recently clearing ground, mainly olliander, and there were dozens (if not hundreds) of these small bugs. I assume that are some form of bark beetle, but can you help?
They are about 8-10 mm in size and this was in January 2018
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks in advance

Soldier Bugs

These are not Bark Beetles.  They are True Bugs and we located a matching image on Insects of Spain, but it is not identified.  Continued research led us to Honey Guide where we found images identified as Ground Bugs, Spilostethus pandurus.  That scientific name led us to Fauna and Funghi of Malta and the common name Soldier Bug and the information:  “A common insect often found solitary on wild plants or on the ground in vegetated areas. It is 12-15mm long and easily spotted due to its conspicuous red/black colour pattern. Despite it can be easily detected and caught by predators, it defends itself from them by secreting pungent odours and have a very repulsive taste, hence the predator will not eat another specimen of this species. It have pecial needle-like mandibles by which it pierce vegetative parts or other insects to feed on.”  iNaturalist verified the common name Soldier Bug as well as numerous sightings in Spain.

Soldier Bug

Soldier Bug

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Maungaturoto
Date: 01/19/2018
Time: 07:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Heya this big dude just bout ended up squished this morning and we have never seen anything similar???!!!
How you want your letter signed:  Toni Pool

Convolvulus Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Toni,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth from the family Sphingidae, and though a dorsal view is not ideal for identification purposes (a lateral view shows more details) the red caudal horn should help in identification.  We found only two species from the family represented on the Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research site, and the caterpillar of the Convolvulus Hawkmoth,
Agrius convolvuli, pictured on Butterfly House looks like a very good match.