Subject:  Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Queensland Australian suburbs
Date: 02/21/2020
Time: 08:09 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw a large black or brown moth in my hall way which seemed to have two sets of eyes on its wings, two on the base of the wings and two in the tips. Only when I I had tried taking a photo of the moth I had my flash on and revealed some vibrant purple color on the wings.
How you want your letter signed:  Hope you can help, regards Lachie

Granny’s Cloak Moth

Dear Lachie,
We recall having previously identified this Owlet Moth in the past, and we found this posting in our archives of a Granny’s Cloak Moth
Speiredonia spectans.  According to Butterfly House:  “The moth of this species likes to hide in a dark place during the day and frequently is found in sheds and garages. The adult moth has brown wings with zig-zag patterns all over. The wing scales appear to have a finely grooved pattern that diffracts light to give the appearance of different colours depending on the angle of view. On each wing there is a pronounced eye spot, complete with eyelid!
Alternatively, if the spots on the forewings are imagined to be eyes, then those on the hind wings might be thought of as the nostrils of some large reptile. The moths even show a human-like face if viewed upside-down.
Either way, the appearance may deter possible predators. The moth has a wingspan of about 7 cms.
The adult moths are quite gregarious and seem to like resting in groups of at least a dozen or so. Pheromones probably are involved in this grouping behaviour, but also individuals that hatch on the same host plant (whatever it may be) at the same time would be subject to the same stimuli (light, plant odours etc) and therefore would move together in response. although moths of this size could travel many kilometres so this idea might not be deserving of too much credence.
However, once they find a place where they are secure they don’t seem to travel very far in the subsequent days, so maybe they do not generally fly very far at all. When they rest in groups: all the individuals tend to orient themselves in the same direction. If they are on a wall they are head-up near the ceiling (or eaves of the roof) and they hold their wings so that the patterns have maximum impact if approached from slightly below – the direction from which a bird would approach.
The moths also favour dark places such as caves, to rest during daylight hours, but suffer predation by bats in these places.”   

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Butterfly vs. Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Big Sur, California
Date: 02/21/2020
Time: 10:17 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dearest Bugman,
While on holiday in Big Sur I saw one majestic monarch and many lightly colored winged animals. I’m wondering if they are butterflies vs. moths, I seem to be thinking that moths are nocturnal, but these lovelies were sun worshipping yesterday near a waterfall not too far from the beach.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Pacific Azures Puddling, we believe

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Your image is lovely.  Your sun worshiping Gossamer Winged butterflies are actually enjoying a mud puddle party, a common activity where certain butterflies gather at mud puddles, damp ground or occasionally fresh animal feces to obtain both moisture and minerals.  Your butterflies are Blues in the subfamily Polyommatinae, a group of that especially fascinated Vladimir Nabokov whose speculative taxonomy was proven in the fascinating book Nabokov’s Blues.  We hesitate to provide a species name since we just encountered conflicting information between BugGuide which only lists the Spring Azure as an eastern species and the Jeffrey Glassberg book Butterflies Through Binoculars, the West which does list the range of the Spring Azure,
Celastrina ladon, in western states and which states:  “One of the first nonhibernating butterflies to fly in the spring. Beginning February in Southern California.”  Here is a BugGuide image of puddling Pacific Azures, Celastrina echo.  

Subject:  some sort of scorpion
Geographic location of the bug:  akureyri, iceland
Date: 02/15/2020
Time: 05:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  this scorpion was found in akureyri iceland, pretty far from home im guessing, do you know what kind of scorpion it is and if its dangerous?
How you want your letter signed:  icelandic scorpion

Scorpion, from Iceland!!!

Your query leaves many questions unanswered.  It is currently winter in Iceland and we imagine it is quite cold right now.  You did not indicate if this Scorpion was discovered this week, last month or during the summer.  You did not indicate where it was found other than what we have learned is a city in northern Iceland called Akureyri.  Was it found indoors or outdoors?  Was it found in a garden or someplace more wild where there are hot springs that might explain how a Scorpion can survive in Iceland in the winter?  We can’t help but to ponder if this an escaped pet or some symptom of extreme global warming?  Though it is not the ideal citation, we are very amused with this quote from the blog Gagleg Maltaka which states:  “And now it’s time for one of my favorite things ever– today’s word is sporðdreki, the Icelandic word for scorpion. I’ve been fascinated with scorpions for a long time now, and have been keeping select species in captivity since my freshman year of college. If everything goes as planned, one day I will conduct independent research on their behavior/evolution and eventually become the scorpion guy. But enough about that. It’s interesting that there is a native Icelandic word for “scorpion” to begin with, as scorpions are not found in Iceland or anywhere remotely near the Arctic Circle for that matter.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Rain Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Arnold, California 4000′
Date: 02/13/2020
Time: 09:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this beetle crawling across our cabin front porch. When I was looking at beetle photos to try to identify it, I thought it sort of looked like a California Rain Beetle, but I didn’t think they lived at 4000″ in the mountains.  Can you tell what this guy/gay is?
How you want your letter signed:  Curious Bug Fan

Rain Beetle

Dear Curious Bug Fan,
This is definitely a male Rain Beetle in the genus
Pleocoma, and it is our first submission of the season because California has had a very dry winter.  Perhaps Rain Beetle expert Gene St. Denis will write in with a species identification.

Subject:  Pretty beetle found on fishing pier
Geographic location of the bug:  Florida
Date: 02/18/2020
Time: 11:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this handsome gentleman hiding in-between two slabs of concrete on a marine fishing pier. He’s very pretty! What does he eat? I’m not entirely sure why’d he prefer being close to the ocean- it just doesn’t look like he belongs!
How you want your letter signed:  Chance Arceneaux

Flea Beetle:  Disonycha pensylvanica

Dear Chance,
We believe we have identified this Leaf Beetle as
Disonycha pensylvanica thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “For the most part found near aquatic habitats” and “Normal hosts are Polygonum spp. including smartweed.”

Subject:  What kind of caterpillar?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tucson, AZ
Date: 02/12/2020
Time: 08:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this giant caterpillar near my garage in October.  I’ve never seen one so big. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Erica

Pre-pupal Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Erica,
We believe your Hornworm is a pre-pupal Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar,
Manduca rustica, based on images on the Sphingidae of the Americas and BugGuide.