Subject:  Great Golden Digger Wasps
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover Township, NJ
Date: 07/03/2018
Time: 02:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel,
This is not a question, just a share.  Several days ago, the Great Golden Digger Wasps appeared along our walkway and immediately set about excavating their nest holes.  There was a fair amount of jockeying for position the first day and even a few little skirmishes, but eventually they all got to work.  Today, with nests apparently complete, the whole colony (about a dozen by my count) set out hunting.  Given the docile temperament of these big wasps, I was able to lay right next to several of the nest holes and observe the action up close.  I was interesting to see that one of them came in with what I believe is a Roesel’s Katydid, not a species I’ve counted in my yard before.
Hope you enjoy the photos.
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah

Great Golden Digger Wasp with prey

Dear Deborah,
As always, your images are stunning.  Through the years, you have demonstrated a fondness and appreciation of insects, and we really want to acknowledge that the colony of Great Golden Digger Wasps that nested in your yard is very lucky they chose your property for their home.  We shutter to think what a fearful individual might have done to these docile and beautiful wasps.  For that reason, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  Based on images posted to BugGuide, we concur that the prey in one image appears to be an immature male Roesel’s Katydid.

Female Great Golden Digger Wasp with immature male Roesel’s Katydid prey

Thank you!  I feel very honored!  Discovering the world of insects has been such a wonderful journey for me, and you have helped me so much along the way.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wild Lookin Turtle Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Upstate NY
Date: 07/03/2018
Time: 06:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Earlier this week (6/29) came across a bug that I have never seen before, and neither has anyone else that I have talked to!
I was on a beach by a lake in the Adirondacks, and in the sand I saw what I believed to be a very small turtle shell. Upon picking it up, I realized that it was not a turtle, but a large insect! It was about 1.5 inches long, the front 1/3 of the insect looked like a large ant or beetle , and the rear 2/3 looked exactly like the shell of a small turtle.
I did not have a camera or phone with me so I do not have a picture, and I have been unable to find anything close online.  I know that you have said that it is unlikely that you can ID the bug without a picture, but I just had to ask.  I attached a drawing if that is of any help.
Any ideas you have would be great, thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Chris

Drawing of a Dragonhunter, we believe

Dear Chris,
At first we thought your drawing resembled a Spider, sans a pair of legs, but your excellent written description, including finding it on the shore, leads us to believe this is a Dragonhunter naiad, the aquatic larva of the Dragonfly
Hagenius brevistylus.  It is thought that its shape causes it to look like a submerged leaf, helping it to capture prey.

Thanks for the quick response and great identification, that is exactly what I saw! I am super impressed with both your insect knowledge and amazing “customer service”!

Subject:  Very strange bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Wakulla River, Florida
Date: 06/28/2018
Time: 12:37 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug dead on the side of a river while kayaking. It was approximately 3 inches in length give take half an inch. Im not sure if it is some kind or beetle or spider missing legs. Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Trent Smith

Dragonhunter Naiad

Dear Trent,
This looks like a Dragonhunter Naiad, the larva of the Dragonfly,
Hagenius brevistylus.  We just received a drawing to identify and we believe it is also a Dragonhunter naiad.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Moth or Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  NY- Finger Lakes Region
Date: 07/04/2018
Time: 07:34 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I grew up chasing insects and all manner of critters around UNY and have rarely been surprised. Is this a Wasp Moth? The geography doesn’t seem to fit. It has been around and in my garden for a week and I want to make sure it isn’t dangerous to my children.
How you want your letter signed:  Nate

Please disregard. I found it on my pumpkins and searched it out through a pests page and determined it was a Squash Vine Borer.
Nate Vitale

Squash Vine Borer

Dear Nate,
Your identification of the Squash Vine Borer is absolutely correct.

Thanks! Very much appreciated. Never had them in the garden growing up and never had I seen them in my town.

Subject:  Sphingidae?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Maine
Date: 07/03/2018
Time: 06:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  this dude got stuck in my window. I’ve been waiting all summer for some cool moths like this and I’d like to know what this one is specifically! Thanks in advance 🙂
Found July 2
How you want your letter signed:  Jade

Possibly Waved Sphinx

Dear Jade,
You are correct that this is a Sphinx Moth, and we believe it is a member of the genus
Ceratomia, and there are three species from the genus recognized on the Sphingidae of Maine page on Sphingidae of the Americas.  We believe this is a Waved Sphinx, Ceratomia undulosa, and we will attempt to verify that identification with Bill Oehlke.  According to Sphingidae of the Americas:  “The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot. The upperside of the hindwing is gray with diffuse darker bands.  Some individuals are very dark, almost black, and others are light yellowish brown.”

Waved Sphinx, we believe

Subject:  Garden Bug or Alien  life form??
Geographic location of the bug:  Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia Canada
Date: 07/03/2018
Time: 09:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug is in my garden eating my squash and cucumber leaves
How you want your letter signed:  Blech

Squash Bugs

Dear Blech,
These are Squash Bugs in the genus Anasa.  In addition to feeding on squash, according to BugGuide:  “hosts: Cucurbitaceae” which includes the plants you mentioned as well as melons and pumpkins.

Squash Bugs