Subject:  What’s this big black fly with yellow middle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tweed River, Pittsfield VT
Date: 07/17/2018
Time: 02:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help us identify this enormous fly or whatever the heck it is!! We took the kids and dog for a swim in the River at the end of a hot day and these flies were relentless! We’ve never seen them before and I can’t find anything similar on the internet. If anyone knows what this is, it’s you.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you!

It’s an orange banded horse fly! I posted to Facebook and a friend helped us identify. So no need to waste your time on us. Horse fly?? I feel kinda silly I even asked!! LOL.
Thank you!
Michelle D.

Orange Banded Horse Fly

Dear Michelle,
After verifying the identity of this Orange Banded Horse Fly,
Hybomitra cincta, on BugGuide, our first thought is that it is a stunningly beautiful Horse Fly and BugGuide does note:  “Females have first three segments of abdomen orange, rest of abdomen black (sharply delimited), and wings dark. Males are harder to identify.”  Don’t underestimate the amazing diversity of Horse Flies.  Some especially striking examples from our site are the only green North American Horse Fly Chlorotabanus crepuscularis, the American Horse Fly and the Western Horse Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unindentified Wasp kills large weaver spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Western Virginia, United States
Date: 07/16/2018
Time: 04:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I photographed this bright blue- winged, orange bodied wasp? pulling a large weaver spider across the deck and then backwards (up a 20 foot chimney) until out of sight! Please help identify. We have four children in the home and would like to know if this is an aggressive species with a sting anything like a tarantula hawk?? It was upset at the close up photograph,on the deck, it let go of the spider and flew at me. I ran inside for a minute and it went back to the spider.
How you want your letter signed:  Naomi, Covington Virginia

Spider Wasp with Prey

Dear Naomi,
This Spider Wasp appears to be
Tachypompilus ferrugineus, and it is not an aggressive species.  While many wasps are capable of stinging, solitary species like this Spider Wasp very rarely sting people, and generally that happens only when they are carelessly handled.

Subject:  Spotted in Turkey
Geographic location of the bug:  Near Mugla, in a forest about 700m above sea level
Date: 07/16/2018
Time: 04:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  No idea what this is, and whether it is dangerous. It is approximately 10cm in length
How you want your letter signed:  Gordon

Female Giant Predatory Katydid: Saga natoliae

Dear Gordon,
This is one very impressive Katydid, and the ovipositor indicates it is a female.  Katydids are not considered dangerous, but large individuals might have powerful mandibles that could draw blood if a person tried to handle one carelessly.  We quickly located this eBay image identified as
Saga natoliae that has a $202.50 price tag for its purchase.  According to Pyrgus Orthoptera and their Ecology:  “Saga natoliae is locally endangered by agricultural intensification, overbuilding (urban sprawl, industry, traffic). No roads should be constructed through its habitats!” and “The impressing species (largest European Saltatoria) occurs from the Balkan Peninsula (Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey) across Asia Minor to Caucasia and the Near East.”  Nature Photo calls this the Balkan Sawing Cricket.  According to a comment on TrekNature:  “It is attacking me with all of its 10 cm length! The magnificent creature prefers crickets and lizards though. It presses a lizard to its mighty spines on the thorax and then saws it in two with its mandibles. You find the animal in the Balkans and in Turkey.”

Dear Daniel
Thank you so much, fascinating

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large wasp or hornet
Geographic location of the bug:  Denver Colorado
Date: 07/17/2018
Time: 10:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I work for the school district in Denver and this morning I found this girl dead in my parking lot. I’ve never seen one this big. I have more pictures but it won’t let me upload.
How you want your letter signed:  Clifford Leonard

Cicada Killer

Dear Clifford,
This impressive wasp is a Cicada Killer, a non-aggressive species that preys on Cicadas.

Subject:  Biggest bug I’ve ever seen
Geographic location of the bug:  Laval, Quebec, Canada and Harrington, Quebec, Canada
Date: 07/16/2018
Time: 08:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, here is a dead bug I saw today. It was near the Montmorency subway station in Laval. I’ve seen one just like it a couple of weeks ago near a lake in Harrington, Quebec, that one was alive but barely.
They are about 3.5″ long including the wings.
The kids think it’s a dead alien larvae…
I’ve never seen bugs so big up here in Quebec, are they an invading species from the south, due to the warmer weather?
Thank you very much for your great work.
How you want your letter signed:  Yves

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Yves,
This male Dobsonfly is a native species in your area, as well as in much of eastern North America.  Arguably, one of the most frighting looking insects, the male Dobsonfly is actually quite harmless.  His impressive mandibles are not capable of biting humans.  Living male Dobsonflies are even more impressive than dead individuals.

Subject:  Long horn beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern France
Date: 07/16/2018
Time: 02:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  A friend sent me this photo.  I’m a geologist, not an entymologist, but some of my friends think I can ID most anything!  It does have quite diagnostic characteristics.
How you want your letter signed:  Terry Dyroff

Dusky Longhorn

Dear Terry,
We have identified the Longhorn
 Morimus funereus in the past, and we learned that it is listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species site.  It is called the Dusky Longhorn on Alamy.

Thanks David.  Another entymologist thought it was probably Herophila tristis, but in reading thru the descriptions and seeing more photos, Morimus funereus is surely it.
Terry Dyroff
(Professor Emeritus, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD)