Subject:  Guava (?) caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  North Queensland, Australia
Date: 04/06/2019
Time: 08:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this large, colourful caterpillar on a guava tree today (Autumn). It is about the size and thickness of my thumb. What is it? What will it become? Is it harmful?
How you want your letter signed:  Connie

Emperor Gum Moth Caterpillar

Dear Connie,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae, and we believe we have correctly identified it as the Emperor Gum Moth Caterpillar,
Opodiphthera eucalypti, which is pictured on Butterfly House.  According to Butterfly House:  “Cherry Guava ( Psidium cattleyanum )” is listed as a food plant.  The Emperor Gum Moth Caterpillar is also pictured on Jungle Dragon and on the Woodlands Historic Park site.  Another possibility is that this might be Syntherata leonae, a species with no common name whose caterpillars are described on Butterfly House as:  “Later the caterpillars become olive green with a yellow line along each side, and have pink-tipped tubercles each of which has a cluster of short stiff hairs.”  The latter species is also pictured on Aus-Lep.  Neither is considered harmful.  Perhaps someone with more expertise in Australian Saturniids will be able to provide more clarification.

Update:  Thanks to a comment from Matthew Connors, we are concluding that this is Syntherata escarlata.

Subject:  Butterfly/Skipper
Geographic location of the bug:  South Central Ohio
Date: 04/07/2019
Time: 02:09 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you identify the insect in the attached photo?
How you want your letter signed:  DSC

Kent’s Geometer

Dear DSC,
This is a Moth, not a butterfly, despite the uncharacteristic way for this Moth to fold its wings.  Often in very simplistic explanations differentiating Moths and Butterflies, it is generally stated that Butterflies rest with wings folded over their bodies while most Moths rest with wings held flat.  This is a Spanworm Moth or Geometer Moth in the family Geometridae, and we quickly identified it as Kent’s Geometer,
Selenia kentaria, thanks to this image posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “adults mimic wilted leaves and hold wings over head at rest, while the larvae resemble twigs” and “adults fly March to August.”  According to Butterflies and Moths of North America:  “Caterpillar Hosts: Basswood, beeches, birches, maples, oaks, and other forest trees.

Subject:  Luna Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Starks, Louisiana
Date: 04/07/2019
Time: 02:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this little one on our window one night. Had to wait till morning to get a picture. March 22,2019
How you want your letter signed:  Bridget

Luna Moth

Dear Bridget,
Thanks for sending in documentation of a Luna Moth you sighted last month.  Your submission is now our earliest reported sighting this year.

Subject:  What kind of moth(?) is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Date: 04/03/2019
Time: 03:37 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this little guy as I was leaving Vic Falls and am trying to figure out of it is in fact a moth and what kind of moth it is? I saw him in January of this year – so Summer.
How you want your letter signed:  Murray

Banded Emperor Moth

Dear Murray,
This is a Giant Silkmoth in the family Saturniidae, and thanks to searching the private World’s Largest Saturniidae site, we have concluded that your individual is one of two species in the genus
Cinabra, and we are favoring the Banded Emperor, Cinabra hyperbius.  The species is pictured on African Moths, on Bizland and on iNaturalist.  We will attempt to verify with Bill Oehlke.

Subject:  Mr. Caterpillar, WHO are YOU?
Geographic location of the bug:  San Diego, CA
Date: 04/04/2019
Time: 11:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My 6-year-old wants to be an entomologist when he grows up. As he puts it, “I care for the earth and small creatures!” He found this caterpillar at the park today. He eagerly consulted his beloved Southern California Butterfly/Moth Pamphlet, but this caterpillar was not pictured. I promised him I’d ask you for help!
How you want your letter signed:  SoCal Insect Hobbyists


Dear SoCal Insect Hobbyists,
This is a Cutworm, the common name for many caterpillars in the subfamily Noctuinae.  Cutworms are reviled by many home gardeners because of the manner in which the caterpillars feed.  Cutworms will cut a sprouting plant at ground level in order to feed, effectively killing newly sprouted plants and seriously jeopardizing the survival of larger plants that might be able to sprout back from the roots.  Most Cutworms develop into drab, brown moths.