Subject:  Caterpillar/grub id
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Panhadle WV
Date: 01/22/2018
Time: 09:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this little guy/gal outside today I think it may be confused due to warm weather we have been having
How you want your letter signed:  Catherine Hubbard

Skipper Caterpillar

Dear Catherine,
Our initial impression was that this might be the larva of an Elm Sawfly, but then we saw then large head, which leads us to believe this is a Skipper Caterpillar similar to this image posted to BugGuide.  Skippers are classified as butterflies, but they share many of the characteristics of moths.

Skipper Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What bug is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mid Atlantic. Southern Delaware by the ocean
Date: 01/23/2018
Time: 11:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I brought my red worm composting operation in doors because of the super cold temperatures.  I am sure these bugs hatched in the worm bin.  I have seen at least a dozen of them in the house.  I looked in the worm bin and there were several in the bin. If the picture is not adequate I probably can get a better one.
Thanks for all your efforts!
How you want your letter signed:  David Elder

Black Soldier Fly

Dear David,
This Black Soldier Fly,
Hermettia illucens, also called a Window Fly because of the transparent areas on the abdomen, is perfectly harmless.  Its larvae have no doubt been living in your compost pile and the warm conditions indoors probably hastened the maturing process.

Thanks so much DAN da Man!

Subject:  What’s that bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tampa, Florida
Date: 01/23/2018
Time: 10:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug on the outside wall of my garage. Snapped this photo with my phone.  Very interested in finding out what it is!  Thank you
How you want your letter signed:  Selcuk Mumcu

Hey – we found it.  It was a FISHFLY….

Male Spring Fishfly

Dear Selcuk,
You are correct.  We believe this is a male Spring Fishfly, which is pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Moth type
Geographic location of the bug:  South africa
Date: 01/23/2018
Time: 03:48 PM ED
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help me to indentify this moth. Have never seing something like it.
How you want your letter signed:  Email

Crambid Snout Moth

Your moth looks so similar to a North American Erythrina Borer that we surmised it must be related, and when we did a search on the genus, we found Terastia subjectalis on African Moths and we found Terastia africana on African Moths as well.  The latter species is reported from “Cameroon, DRCongo, Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe.”

Crambid Snout Moth

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Zimbabwe harare
Date: 01/21/2018
Time: 02:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Clusters of this bug can only be found on one tree in our garden.  Demolishing the leaf to a skeleton before moving on.  They have been here for 2 weeks now with no sign of lying eyes or making cocoons
How you want your letter signed:  Di

Tortoise Beetle Larvae, we believe

Dear Di,
These are NOT Caterpillars, the larvae of butterflies or moths.  Rather, they are beetle larvae.  We suspect they are Leaf Beetle larvae or more specifically Tortoise Beetle larvae from the subfamily Cassidinae.  Knowing the tree would be of tremendous assistance to providing an actual species identification.  The look like the Fool’s Gold Beetle larvae pictured on BioDiversity Explorer, but that would mean your tree is actually a shrub in the family Solanaceae.

Tortoise Beetle larvae we believe

wow Thank you so much.  I will have to take a leaf down to the local nursery to identify the tree/shrub.  it is very big for a shrub over 5 meters at a guess but it is shrub like with many big stems/trunks and hanging branches I cannot see anything similar on the internet when I use the shrub name suggested.
I will continue looking and searching.

Best regardsDiane

Subject:  Inside a European Paper Wasp nest
Geographic location of the bug:  Tonasket, WA
Date: 01/22/2018
Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I think I can only send one picture at a time.  There’s 3.
At the end of the hatching season, these1/2 dozen or so had a hole chewed in the top of their egg cell. None of the earlier eggs had this done to them. Don’t know if it was the baby or their mates that did it. About 2 weeks later the wasp emerged the same way as all the rest, by chewing the cap off from the inside and flipping it back like a Pez dispenser. They were next to my garden, and I had absolutely no bugs. Not good ones or bad ones. They are also very calm. I took tons of pictures and the only time they got excited was when the wind blew my hair into their nest. They didn’t chase me very far… lol. I know they eat the good as well as the bad, but that’s just nature. My moral dilemma here, is I know they are an invasive species. Any thoughts on whether or not they should be destroyed?
How you want your letter signed:  Cathy

European Paper Wasp Nest

European Paper Wasp Nest (10 days later)

This is on 8-15-17, and I’m sending it because it looks like it has moved in there. I’m really  close, 3 or 4 inches and on macro. Sorry it’s still blurred. None of the wasps cared I was there. It hatched a couple of days later.

European Paper Wasp Nest (11 days later)

Dear Cathy,
Thanks for sending in your images of the activity in a European Paper Wasp Nest.  According to BugGuide:  “First reported in North America in 1978 near Boston, MA” and “Replacing native wasps in some areas.”  According to Colorado State University Extension:  “The European paper wasp has already largely replaced the native species in much of the region. Some reasons for the competitive advantage to P. dominulus over our native paper wasps include:

  • Earlier establishment of colonies in the spring, which allows it a competitive advantage in collection of early season prey. Early nest establishment also avoids some bird predation, and allows the production of early season workers to hunt for prey and protect developing larvae.
  • The habit of using protected nesting sites provides protection from predation. The European paper wasp utilizes small holes and voids to make nests, which are sites the native species does not exploit to the same extent.
  • The native paper wasps prey on caterpillars, while the European paper wasp capture a variety of insects from several orders. The varied diet of our new invader gives it a distinct advantage over the native species.
  • European paper wasps reuse nests that have been abandoned for various reasons, while our native species do not reuse nests. European paper wasps have an advantage in being able to establish colonies more quickly than the native paper wasps.

We empathize with your dilemma.  At the end of the day, there are species that adapt to co-existing with humans and species that do not.  Species that adapt to living near humans often out compete native species.  We always lament the loss of native species after the introduction of invasive species.