Subject:  Is this a kissing bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Missoula, MT
Date: 08/04/2018
Time: 04:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this indoors today,  it landed on my face and it smelled. Thought it could be a stink bug, but the red marking on its body remind me of a kissing bug.  Do kissing bugs smell? I don’t think it’s a west conifer seed bug since the head looks round, and I don’t think the legs were barbed but i’m not sure. I crushed it before getting a good luck at it.
How you want your letter signed:  Jen

Elm Seed Bug

Dear Jen,
This is not a Kissing Bug, but it is a problem nonetheless.  It is an invasive Elm Seed Bug,
Arocatus melanocephalus, and according to BugGuide:  “Native to, and widespread in S. & C. Europe, established and spreading in w. NA” and “Can emit unpleasant odor, especially when crushed.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Doesn’t pose a threat to trees, but may show up indoors in huge numbers” and “Invades homes during summer, may stay through the winter.” 

Elm Seed Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large Wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  South of Spain
Date: 08/04/2018
Time: 05:57 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Saved this wasp looking insect from the pool but it’s much larger than a regular wasp. Any ideas as to what it may be?
Many thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Voni

European Wool Carder Bee

Dear Voni,
This is an exciting posting for us because this is a European Wool Carder Bee,
Anthidium manicatum, and all of the representatives of the species on our site are from North America because according to BugGuide: “Introduced from Europe before 1963; spreading throughout NE. & W. NA.”  BugGuide also states:  “Females collect ‘wool’ from downy plants such as Lamb’s Ears to line their nest cavities” and “Robust, black and yellow. Males significantly larger than females.”   Discover Life has some great images and we also found a posting from Spain on FlickR.  We are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award because of your pool rescue.

Subject:  Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Greely Colorado
Date: 08/04/2018
Time: 02:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This little guy was found in a back yard. The fingers are those of a toddler who would like to know what this is. I can’t find it by googling.  Thank you for any help!
How you want your letter signed:  Mallory

Rabbit Bot Fly

Dear Mallory,
Most people who encounter a Bot Fly in the genus
Cuterebra for the first time confuse it for a Bee.  According to BugGuide:  “Females typically deposit eggs in the burrows and ‘runs’ of rodent or rabbit hosts. A warm body passing by the eggs causes them to hatch almost instantly and the larvae glom onto the host. The larvae are subcutaneous (under the skin) parasites of the host. Their presence is easily detected as a tumor-like bulge, often in the throat or neck or flanks of the host. The larvae breathe by everting the anal spiracles out a hole (so they are oriented head-down inside the host). They feed on the flesh of the host, but only rarely does the host die as a result.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Habitat is less important to these flies than the host mammals. Habitat-specific rodents or rabbits means habitat-specific species of bots.”  We believe your individual is a Rabbit Bot Fly, Cuterebra buccata, which is pictured on BugGuide.  We have written to Bot Fly expert Jeff Boettner to confirm its identity.  Do you have any additional camera angles?

Rabbit Bot Fly

Jeff Boettner responds.
 Both C. leupusculi and C. buccata are possible in Greely, CO. Both these species look a lot alike from the side, but the coloration of the back hints more of C. leupusculi. I think this is a male but also hard to tell from this angle and there are only 15 C. leupusculi males in collections, females are more often seen. Males may lek, ie if you went back to this same spot at the same time of day, you might see males fighting over that rock or the nearby area? Do you have any other pics from any other angles? Even slightly different angles.
C. buccata uses S. floridanus,  whereas C. lepusculi uses S. audubonii but both rabbits overlap in that location. So a bit tough to call. But for sure a rabbit bot, and likely one of these two.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Drama on my Sweet Sarah clone
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 08/04/2018
Time: 11:08 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I hope you don’t mind that I keep sending pictures of the same two predators that have taken up residence on my Sweet Sarah clone.  The California Mantis was missing for a few days and then it reappeared looking quite a bit bigger.  I noticed this drama today.  What was really interesting was that as soon as she got close to the Green Lynx Spider, he leaped out of reach.  I haven’t found a single grasshopper on this plant, while I have to pick them off the rest of my crop.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

California Mantis stalks Green Lynx Spider on a Woody Plant

Dear Constant Gardener,
Keep your images coming.  We applaud your organic gardening methods and natural pest control.  When an insect molts, it becomes much more vulnerable to attack, at least until its new exoskeleton hardens.  Since your California Mantis has grown, it must have molted, so it probably was in hiding until its new exoskeleton hardened sufficiently, explaining why it was missing for a few days. 

Subject:  Wasp
Geographic location of the bug:  Oregon
Date: 08/04/2018
Time: 08:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have a large wasp like flying creature with a black tip bottom and mostly orange.  They hang around my flowering plants.  About 15-20 mm. Long antenna.  Very scary. Never seen before.
How you want your letter signed:  Deb

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Dear Deb,
This is a Great Golden Digger Wasp.  They are not aggressive and they hunt Katydids, not to eat, but to provision the nest for the young.  Adult Great Golden Digger Wasps are vegan pollinators.

Subject:  Name this woolly worm
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Kentucky
Date: 08/04/2018
Time: 06:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Would LOVE to know what this is! Photographed 8/4/18 on land in Hart County Ky
How you want your letter signed:  Courious George

Spotted Apatelodes Caterpillar

Dear Courious George,
Are you curious as well?  Your caterpillar looks remarkably like both the Caterpillar of the American Dagger Moth and the Caterpillar of the Banded Tussock Moth, but the pattern of the black tufts of hair on your caterpillar are noticeably different.  After what seems like an interminable time searching for the identity of your caterpillar on the internet, we need to give our eyes a rest from the computer and go outside to enjoy the late afternoon, California sunlight.  We are posting your Caterpillar as unidentified and we hope one of our readers will be able to come to our assistance.

Yes, Curious George didn’t spell check LOL! Thank you so much for trying and replying. Hope you are enjoying your late day sun!

Julian Donahue provides an identification.
Hi Daniel,
Good for you to suspect the identification–it is neither of the two candidates.
Both of these are larvae of the Spotted Apatelodes Moth (Apatelodes torrefacta; Apatelodidae).
More images of adults and larvae, and distribution, here:

All the best,