Subject: Larvae?
Location: Central MN
August 7, 2016 7:52 am
Hi, Bugman! What on earth is this, apparent, larvae? About an inch and a half long, VERY chubby, no ‘legs’. Looks like Jabba the Hutt! Black spotty body, found in a garage.
Signature: Confused naturalist

Rodent Bot Fly Maggot

Rodent Bot Fly Maggot

Dear Confused Naturalist,
This looks to us like the larva of a Rodent Bot Fly.  See this BugGuide image for comparison.

THANK YOU!!  Yes, I found that on your amazing website…..I refer to it often. Thank you for your quick response. I have never EVER seen this before…and I’ve been on a frenzy trying to figure it out. Now I can sleep…hehehehee! (Total bug nerd)
Kelly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Striped Moth, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Location: Monteverde, Costa Rica
August 7, 2016 2:17 am
Hi,
I’ve recently tried to identify some of the insects I photographed in Costa Rica, in the summers of 2009 and 2011. I have had some success (this site has been of great help), but this fellow has been eluding me so far, so I figured I’d ask the experts.
This was taken in Monteverde, Costa Rica, on June 27, 2011.
Thanks in advance
Signature: Thibaud Aronson

Geometer Moth: Pityeja histrionaria

Geometer Moth: Pityeja histrionaria

Dear Thibaud,
Considering the beauty of this striking moth, this was one of the more difficult searches we have undergone in recent memory, but before we provide you with the information we have gleaned from the internet, we first need to rant on Pinterest.  In our minds, the Pinterest site is the scavenger of the internet.  Pinterest pilfers images from other sites, and because it has so many users, search engines bring up images on Pinterest even before they bring up those same images on the originating sites.  Then one must register to even access the original site.  We are deeply offended by Pinterest.  Our word searching led us nowhere, so we decided to do an image search, which we rarely do, and the only two internet images we could locate of your moth were on Pinterest, but we could not trace the originating sites since we flat out refuse to register on Pinterest.  Now that we have that off our collective chest, we can tell you what we learned.
Our first lead was a FlickR posting by Andreas Kay of an image taken in Ecuador, and we learned the identity of
Pityeja histrionaria in the family Geometridae.  On FocusOnNature we learned:  “Pityeja histrionaria ranges extensively in much of South America. It occurs from Mexico to southern Brazil.”  Though we did not learn much more about the moth, we located another image from Ecuador on FlickR, an image from Peru on Project Noah and an image on the National Moth Week site with no location.  Several sites have images of mounted specimens, including Lepidoptera Barcode of Life and Encyclopedia of Life.  This looks to us like it would be a diurnal or day flying species.  Are you able to provide any insight?  Did you find this lovely Geometer Moth in the morning after it had been attracted to a light lit at night?

That’s the one! Thanks for the amazingly fast reply!
I apologize, I should have specified, I did see this one at night, attracted to the lights of the field station.
As for Pinterest, I fully share your sentiment, and all I can say is that I neither have an account nor use it myself.
Cheers
Thibaud

Subject: Minding our Milkweed Mystery
Location: Southern California
August 6, 2016 5:46 pm
Hi, Bugman! We’ve been growing milkweed to attract monarch butterflies. It went well for about a month. Recently, the milkweed has been overrun by new insects, and the monarchs have stopped coming by. The new insects look a lot like milkweed bugs, but every single resource I can find insists that milkweed bugs, mature and immature, are black. The bugs on our milkweed are a very light brown. Their legs almost look translucent. Do you think it’s possible that they’re simply a variety of milkweed bug? Or are milkweed bugs absolutely always black–which would make these bugs imposters?
Signature: Rose

Leafhopper Assassin Bug

Leafhopper Assassin Bug

Dear Rose,
This looks to us to be a Leafhopper Assassin Bug,
Zelus renardii, and according to BugGuide:  “Generalist predator (despite its common name suggesting host specificity).”  The good news is that it will likely prey on Oleander Aphids that often trouble milkweed in Southern California, but we would not rule out that it might also prey upon young Monarch caterpillars.  You mentioned attracting Monarch butterflies which will take nectar from many different flowers, however, the real benefit to growing milkweed in the garden is that it is the only plant upon which Monarch Caterpillars will feed.

Got it! Thank you so much for your help! Since they appear to be able to survive on other plants, we’re thinking we may pick some of them off and give them to neighbors who have an overabundance of aphids of their hands. You’ve been a great help!
Rose

Be careful Rose.  They will bite if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful walkingstick
Location: San Antonio, Texas
August 6, 2016 6:54 pm
My son and I found this beauty on the siding in our back yard at the end of July. They are digging up the open land directly behind our house to further our housing development, which has resulted in several unwanted and potentially dangerous house guests. This was one I was very excited to see, as I have never found one prior to seeing this one! It was full on sun, around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and we have not had much recent rain, but had a wet spring. I do not know much about these wonderful insects, and my son and I spent a while watching it off and on before it wandered off. Can you tell me a little about it please?
Signature: Mother of a curious boy

Walkingstick

Walkingstick

Dear Mother of a curious boy,
We are relatively certain your Walkingstick is in the genus Diapheromera, and there are several species reported from Texas according to BugGuide, but alas, we lack the necessary skills to provide you with an exact species identification.  Our best guesses are that this might be either a Creosote Bush Walkingstick, 
Diapheromera covilleae, which BugGuide lists from Texas, Diapheromera persimilis, a species with no common name listed from Texas on BugGuide, or a Prairie Walkingstick, Diapheromera velii , which BugGuide lists from Texas.  What we can state for certain is that this individual is a male who can be identified by his narrow physique and the claspers at the end of his abdomen which are used in mating.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a comment with a more specific identification. 

Thank you so much!  This gives me something to research!

Subject: Strange Moth-Like Bug
Location: Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada
August 6, 2016 5:37 pm
My name is Jason, and I discovered this Moth-Like bug in July in the Metro Vancouver area in British Columbia, Canada. It was completely fur-less, with the wings being scale-less and almost plasticy. the rear of the abdomen ends in a sort of spike that was longish and seemed kind of flexible.
I estimated the body to be about two inches long.
I had ended up finding it because my cat was trying to eat it,and i thought it was really cool looking so I took pictures she stopped him from actually taking a nibble. just in case it was poisonous. the bright pink colour made me wary.
Signature: Jason

Large Elephant Hawkmoth

Large Elephant Hawkmoth

Dear Jason,
We were very surprised to get your submission of a Large Elephant Hawkmoth,
Deilephila elpenor, from Vancouver because this is a European species, and then we were even more surprised when we learned on the Sphingidae of the Americas site that it  “has recently established populations in southern British Columbia, Canada.”  According to BugGuide:  “Reportedly introduced to British Columbia ca. 1995.”  According to Pacific Northwest Moths:  ” It is unclear how the species was introduced or if it has started to spread to other areas.  It has been suggested that this moth was released deliberately by an amateur entomologist, but this has not been substantiated.”  According to the Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic:  “This species has also recently been recorded from southern British Columbia, Canada, as an introduction.”  Hawkmoths are very strong fliers that are often found far out to sea, and we were secretly hoping that the Vancouver population was a result of a fertile female flying from Siberia.  To the best of our knowledge, the species is not poisonous.

Large Elephant Hawkmoth

Large Elephant Hawkmoth

Subject: Beautiful bug
Location: Bradenton, Florida
August 6, 2016 1:07 pm
About 1 inch long.
Signature: Kathleen

Hanging Thief

Hanging Thief

Dear Kathleen,
This Robber Fly is commonly called a Hanging Thief because of their habit of hanging from one leg while devouring prey they have captured on the wing.