Subject:  Found giant fly at neighbors house
Geographic location of the bug:  Tennessee
Date: 08/29/2018
Time: 08:06 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this giant fly at my neighbors house. Well I found 3 of them so far and took a pic of one. He is an elderly man and I sometimes clean his house for him. He had to put his dog down because it got sick. Three holes were discovered on its back. Could this fly be the cause? What type is it and how can he get rid of them? Thanks for your help.
How you want your letter signed:  Nessa

Flesh Fly

Dear Nessa,
This is a Flesh Fly in the family Sarcophagidae, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae: many species are necrophagous, but some feed in mammalian tissues or parasitize other arthropods (bees, cicadas, termites, grasshoppers/locusts, millipedes), earthworms, or snails. Adults feed on various sugar-containing materials such as nectar, sap, fruit juices and honeydew.”  If the dog’s flesh had necrotized, it is possible that the Flesh Flies laid eggs in the wounds.  We do not provide extermination advice.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beautiful art deco moth!
Geographic location of the bug:  South Florida
Date: 08/28/2018
Time: 11:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I spotted this beautiful fella in Sarasota, Florida. He was so striking I had to stop and take a picture! I’m wondering what species he is. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Alys

Banded Sphinx

Dear Alys,
The beautiful Banded Sphinx is described on Sphingidae of the Americas: “The upperside of the moth is dark pinkish brown. Each forewing has a lighter brown band along the costa, and sharp pinkish white bands and streaks. “

Subject:  Caterpillar stripping leaves on apple trees
Geographic location of the bug:  N. central NH
Date: 08/27/2018
Time: 04:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I found my apple trees being stripped of leaves and these critters seem to be the obvious culprits. Can you identify it for me?
How you want your letter signed:  David

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear David,
This is a Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota tessellaris, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on alder, ash, birch, elm, hazel, hickory, oak, poplar, tulip tree, walnut, willow.”  BugGuide does have a posting of an individual found under an apple tree.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Creepy security camera footage
Geographic location of the bug:  Seattle, Washington
Date: 08/27/2018
Time: 11:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
My parents recently invested in a security camera for their front porch which starts recording whenever it detects motion. While most of the footage is of deer, rabbits, and birds, we couldn’t help but be a bit creeped out by this one. It only has 6 legs, so it’s not a spider, but no antennae?  Seems strange. It probably looks a lot more ominous than it actually is, but what it looks like is the stuff of nightmares, so seriously… what the hell is it???
How you want your letter signed:  More curious than concerned

Security Camera Bug

Dear More curious than concerned,
Security cameras have wide angle lenses, meaning they distort perspective by making objects closer to the camera appear disproportionately larger than they actually are.  There is not enough detail for us to be able to provide you with a definitive identification, but our initial guess is possibly an Assassin Bug in the genus
Zelus.  We can think of a few other possibilities, but we thought it might be fun for our readers to write in and take a guess, either by posting a comment or writing back to us using the subject line “Security Camera Bug”.

Subject:  Moth Outside Our Classroom Door
Geographic location of the bug:  Orlando, FL 32803
Date: 08/27/2018
Time: 04:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi!
We found this amazing moth outside our classroom and we would love to find out which species it is.  This is our fifth grade class at Orlando Gifted Academy.
Thank you
How you want your letter signed:  Mrs. Kuerzi’s and Mr. Burnett’s Sudents

Female Io Moth

Dear Mrs. Keurzi’s and Mr. Burnett’s Students,
This impressive moth is a female Io Moth, but she has hidden her most dramatic feature while resting.  If disturbed by a predator like a bird, the Io Moth opens its wings, revealing the colorful eyespots on its underwings, often startling the predator into perceiving a threat that might eat it.

Subject:  Large Black smooth beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Oklahoma City
Date: 08/27/2018
Time: 11:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am 41 and first time I have ever seen this beetle. Was not able to locate a match for Oklahoma or Texas. Was about an inch long. Looked like very strong pinchers and was trying to come in front door. It is mid August late morning
How you want your letter signed:  Very curious

Pedunculate Ground Beetle

Dear Very curious,
This is a Pedunculate Ground Beetle in the genus
Pasimachus, and according to BugGuide:  “Large, extra-robust, flightless ground beetles (elytra fused into rigid shell). Huge jaws, head, pronotum. Some have blue margins. Typically run about under or on leaf litter in forests.”  They are beneficial predators that are harmless to humans.