Subject:  Drowned cricket
Geographic location of the bug:  California Central Coast, USA
Date: 12/14/2018
Time: 01:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I am a huge fan of this site and have used it to help ID several species of insects. I finally found a bug that doesn’t quite fit into any category I can find. This poor unfortunate soul was pulled from the pool during our swim team practice. On approach I thought it was a Jerusalem cricket based on size, but then when I picked it up I saw that it’s abdomen was much more narrow and down-curved. I thought maybe it was some sort of mole or cave cricket, but it’s features don’t quite fit to make it as either of those. We just had our first rains of the season, which drive many critters out on the pool deck. I’d love to know what suicidal bug this is to satisfy my curiosity and to inform those terrified swimmers who suffer from bugphobia and nightmares.
How you want your letter signed:  Coach Jackie

Drowned Orthopteran

Dear Coach Jackie,
Thank you for your kind words about our site.  Alas, we are not able to provide you with a conclusive identification at this time, but we are nonetheless posting your image of this drowned Orthopteran while we continue to research its identity.  We are also appealing to our readership for assistance.  Like you, we acknowledge its resemblance to Camel Crickets or Cave Crickets in the family Rhaphidophoridae which is pictured on BugGuide, but we are not convinced this individual is a member of that family.

Thank you, Daniel! Now I’m bummed I didn’t save it–didn’t think it would preserve well after being soaked. I’ll be looking forward to what you discover!

Subject:  Can’t find any info on insect
Geographic location of the bug:  South louisiana
Date: 12/13/2018
Time: 09:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My friend posted this picture of this bug and I’ve seen them around before but I can’t find any info on it. To me it looks like a baby graboid from the tremors movie lol please help
How you want your letter signed:  Amanda

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Dear Amanda,
Though the snorkel-like breathing tube or “tail” on the posterior appears shorter than usual, we nonetheless believe this is a Rat-Tailed Maggot, the larva of a Drone Fly.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  Rat-Tailed Maggots are generally found in stagnant water rich in organic materials, like animal manure, or in very damp soil.  We wouldn’t rule out that this might be a larva of a different group of Flies, like possibly a Soldier Fly larva

Subject:  unusual bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Charleston, SC
Date: 12/11/2018
Time: 08:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My daughter sent me this picture asking what it was. I’ve never seen anything like it.
How you want your letter signed:  jim

Wheel Bug

Dear Jim,
This is a predatory Wheel Bug, the largest Assassin Bug in North America.  Though we rarely get reports of Wheel Bugs biting people, they should nonetheless be handled with caution as they might deliver a painful bite if carelessly handled.  Wheel Bugs are relatively common in eastern North America.

Wow. That’s quite a beast. Thanks for identifying it.

Subject:  What is this little guy?
Geographic location of the bug:  Marysville, WA
Date: 12/13/2018
Time: 07:23 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this guy hanging out around my pineapple mint last July. Do you know what it is? It’s surprisingly beautiful whatever it is!
How you want your letter signed:  Melissa C.

Flower Fly

Dear Melissa,
This is a Flower Fly or Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, but we are uncertain of the species.  Many members of this family are effective mimics of stinging wasps and bees, so the otherwise harmless Flower Flies benefit from this protective mimicry.

Subject:  Bug identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Iraq
Date: 12/12/2018
Time: 11:55 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Mr. Bugman I found this kind of bee or bug on the street and it couldn’t fly for some reason… Its length about 3cm, width about 1cm
How you want your letter signed:  Raf

Carpenter Bee

Dear Raf,
This is a Carpenter Bee and we suspect it is a male because of the golden color.  Carpenter Bees in many parts of the world exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning the males and females look very different from one another with females having black coloration and males having gold coloration.  See this image from our archives.

Subject:  Frozen Like Han Solo
Geographic location of the bug:  a pond in northern IL
Date: 12/10/2018
Time: 11:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi.  We were hiking in the woods and saw a few of these trapped in the ice of two different shallow ponds near our home.  Each specimen was about 2 to 2.5 inches long.  I thought it must be a larvae of a pond insect, but I haven’t been able to find any that are supposed to be that big.  Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Mary

Horse Fly Larva

Dear Mary,
This looks to us like the larva of a Horse Fly.  There is a matching image on Quora where it states:  “Most horse flies are associated with water, and the carnivorous larvae can be found therein.”

Thank you! and Yuck!
I appreciate your help.  I always attempt to do my own identifying, but whenever I am stuck, you always come through.
My curiosity thanks you.
Mary