Subject:  Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Atlanta, Georgia
Date: 01/03/2020
Time: 02:55 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a fly of some sort?
How you want your letter signed:  Bruce Carlson

Stilt Legged Fly

Dear Bruce,
This is a gorgeous image of a Stilt Legged Fly in the family Micropezidae.  We believe we have correctly identified it as 
Rainieria antennaepes thanks to this BugGuide image.  Of the family, BugGuide notes “Adults of some species are attracted to rotting fruit or dung; in other species adults are predaceous; larvae saprophagous.”  Your image has documented feeding, though we are not certain what has comprised the meal, though based on the BugGuide food information, either “rotting fruit or dung” appears to be a possibility.

Thanks Dan for the identification.  I should have mentioned in my message that my wife took the photograph, but she’s happy to see it posted on your website!
Bruce Carlson

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Emperor moth caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Plettenberg Bay. South Africa
Date: 01/02/2020
Time: 03:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugma:  We have noticed these beautiful caterpillars at the same time each year. This year quite a few of them have “eggs” attached to them. It looks like these caterpillars die. Could this be a parasite wasp?
How you want your letter signed:  Jenny

Cabbage Emperor Moth Caterpillars with parasitoid Wasp Pupae

Dear Jenny,
We believe we already responded to a comment you posted to another posting on our site.  Alas, these Cabbage Emperor Moth Caterpillars,
Bunaea alcinoe, appear to have fallen victim to a parasitoid Wasp, probably a Braconid or Chalcid Wasp.  According to Siyabona Africa:  “The Bunaea alcinoe (common emperor) caterpillars mentioned above, had been discovered by a tiny specie of the large family of parasitoid Braconid wasps (Braconidae). The adult wasp had penetrated the live caterpillar(s) with her ovipositor and laid eggs inside the caterpillar. The eggs had hatched into larvae which fed within the caterpillar.  The larvae, on reaching full size, cut their way out of the caterpillar and formed tiny, white cocoons, within which they pupated, on the outside of the caterpillar. Within a few days the mature wasps cut their way out of the cocoons to repeat the cycle. The caterpillars, denuded of their nutrients and depending on their rate of leaf consumption, slowly shrivel and die.”

Hi
Many thanks for this detailed and interesting reply. Much appreciated.
Kind regards
Jenny

Subject:  Giant silk moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Sabie, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Date: 01/03/2020
Time: 02:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this moth at a take out drive through in a small town called Sabie in the the province Mpumalanga in South Africa. Eastern part of the country. Google image search did not yield much information
How you want your letter signed:  Shirley

Giant Silk Moth: Cirina forda

Dear Shirley,
This is indeed a Giant Silk Moth in the family Saturniidae, and we believe we have correctly identified it as
Cirina forda thanks to images posted online on African Moths and on iNaturalist where it is called a Pallid Emperor Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Blue robber fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mudgee, nsw
Date: 01/01/2020
Time: 03:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw anothe post with a very similar fly and you said it was an exciting find, so I thought I’d send you mine. Never seen one before, I assume it’s come to escape the fires.
How you want your letter signed:  Cheers, Jeremy.

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Dear Jeremy,
We always love posting excellent images of large Robber Flies, arguably among the most adept winged insect predators.  We believe you are correct that this is a Giant Blue Robber Fly,
Blepharotes spendidissimus, based on images posted online.  The human finger for scale is a nice addition.  We are well aware of the horrific fires currently burning in Australia.

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Giant Blue Robber Fly

Subject:  Mexican Cactus Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tucson, Arizona
Date: 12/30/2019
Time: 03:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I photographed these flies as they visited flowers at the Tucson Botanical Gardens in Tucson, Arizona.  I think that they may be Mexican Cactus Flies; and I was hoping that you could confirm that.  Of course, you may use the photos if so desired.
How you want your letter signed:  Stephen Nelson

Mexican Cactus Fly

Dear Stephen,
This is indeed a Mexican Cactus Fly,
Copestylum mexicanum.  Though the Mexican Cactus Fly is a member of the Hover Fly family Syrphidae, it does not resemble most other members of the family that look like bees and wasps as protective mimicry.

Subject:  Giant African Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Harare, Zimbabwe
Date: 12/30/2019
Time: 12:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi – found a moth in the garden on 19 Dec 2019 which sadly appeared to have died the next day. It looks like a Giant Silk Moth – previously sent in to you and identified as such. Also from Harare. I can send you a photo of the complete moth if required.
How you want your letter signed:  James Ball

Giant Silk Moth: Gonimbrasia macrothyris

Dear James,
This is indeed a Giant Silk Moth and we are confident it is
Gonimbrasia macrothyris which is pictured on Afro Moths.

Hi Daniel
Thank you very much for your prompt and informative reply. I will be sending in some other ‘bugs’ for ID.
regards
James Ball