Subject:  Monarch Caterpillars?
Geographic location of the bug:  Columbus, Ohio
Date: 09/06/2018
Time: 09:24 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Do I finally have some?  After years of “growing weeds” (according to my husband), do I finally have some Monarchs on my milkweed?  I’ve spotted at least three…. I’m so excited!
How you want your letter signed:  Amber

Monarch Caterpillar

Dear Amber,
Your excitement is justifiable as these are indeed Monarch Caterpillars.  After all your years of gardening diligence, you are finally getting the rewards for your efforts.

Monarch Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Niagara Ontario area
Date: 09/04/2018
Time: 11:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This caterpillar was hanging on my tomato plant with all these white things on it.
Next morning it was on the ground with most of the white things off of it.
How you want your letter signed:  Pina

Dead Tobacco Hornworm with Braconid Pupae

Dear Pina,
This Tobacco Hornworm or Carolina Sphinx is quite dead, but while it was still alive, it was parasitized by a Braconid Wasp.  When the wasp larvae hatched, they feed on the non-vital tissues of the hornworm until they were ready to leave the host and pupate.  The white things are the Braconid pupae.

Subject:  Large Black Desert Wasp other than Tarantula Hawk
Geographic location of the bug:  Lost Palms Oasis – Joshua Tree NP
Date: 09/04/2018
Time: 07:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  While hiking in J-Tree this week (Early September), I came across a small swarm of large, black wasps around a patch of milkweed. I initially thought they were Tarantula Hawks, but upon closer inspection they were distinctly different from the T-Hawks I’ve seen around Southern California.
-Black Body approx. 1.5″ in length.
-Rust-Red Abdomen
-Black wings with a subtle blueish sheen.
-Found in a small swarm on Milkweed.
I’ve encountered many different bees and wasps on hikes, but never anything this large that wasn’t a Tarantula Hawk. I couldn’t find anything online that looked like them. Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Ryan Dunn – @CogArtist

Scarab Hunter Wasp

Dear Ryan,
We have identified your beautiful Scarab Hunter Wasp in the family Scoliidae as
Triscolia ardens thanks to images on BugGuide where it states the range is:  “Texas west to California, and south into Mexico.”  According to BugEric:  “Their life cycle can be generalized as follows.  The female wasps fly low over the ground, somehow divining the presence of subterranean scarab beetle grubs.  Once she unearths the grub, she stings it into paralysis.  this allows her to lay a single egg on the grub.  After she accomplishes her mission, she re-buries the grub and flees the scene of the crime (some species have been observed moving the grub deeper into the soil and fashioning an earthen cell around it before depositing an egg and sealing the tunnel).  The beetle grub apparently never recovers from its coma.  The egg of the wasp hatches, and the larva that emerges will feed as an external parasite on its host for about a week or two before spinning a silken cocoon and pupating.  Most North American scoliids overwinter in the pupal stage.”

Scarab Hunter Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Big ant with provision for winter
Geographic location of the bug:  Tonasket WA
Date: 09/04/2018
Time: 10:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Amazing how much ants can carry. And I suspect this was light for it! Do ants paralyze their quarry, or would this one be dead?  I feel bad about the spider, but grateful the ants get to eat.
How you want your letter signed:  Cathy

Western Black Carpenter Ant with Spider

Dear Cathy,
Based on this BugGuide image, we are pretty certain your ant is a Western Black Carpenter Ant, and according to BugGuide: “Omnivorous – eat honeydew, sap, living and dead insects, etc. Do not eat wood, only nest in it, and usually only after fungi have softened it.”  That said, the curl to the Spider’s legs indicates it was probably dead before the Western Black Carpenter Ant discovered it.

Subject:  Help with Bug ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Vila Velha, Brazil
Your letter to the bugman:  I am six years old and living in Brazil for a year.  I rescued this interesting bug from a swimming pool and want to know what it is.  My dad is helping me type this message.  Thank you for your help!
How you want your letter signed:  From Nadia F.

Darkling Beetle

Dear Nadia,
This is a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae.  Because of your kind act of rescuing this Darkling Beetle from a swimming pool, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Subject:  yellow black bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Indianapolis
Date: 09/03/2018
Time: 10:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug on a love-lies bleeding plant. he was waiting for the breeze to come and when it did he flew away.
see on you tube
How you want your letter signed:  yellow black bug

Locust Borer

The Locust Borer is a common beetle found where the larval food plant, black locust, is found.  Adult Locust Borers are excellent Yellowjacket mimics, and they are often found on autumn flowers, especially goldenrod.