Subject:  Shiny Blue/Green fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Raleigh, NC
Date: 09/30/2019
Time: 05:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this shiny bug on my neighbors fence and was curious about what it was because I had never seen one around here. The season is fall but it is still pretty hot and humid and I saw the bug in the late afternoon when it was just about to get dark.   Thanks in advance.
How you want your letter signed:  ADG

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear ADG,
This is not a fly.  It is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae.  According to BugGuide:  “The name ‘cuckoo wasp’ refers to the fact that these wasps lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting hosts.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wheel Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Rutherford County, Middle Tennessee
Date: 10/02/2019
Time: 08:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This year marks my first signing of a living wheel bug, which is very exciting!! Unfortunately, I’ve also found more dead wheel bugs than I’ve seen in my entire life. Do you know if they naturally die after mating/laying eggs or if perhaps the unusual heat is getting them? I’ve been finding them upside down on sidewalks, so I figure they could be overheating there.
How you want your letter signed:  Josie

Wheel Bug

Dear Josie,
Thanks for sending in your image of a Wheel Bug.  Wheel Bugs only survive for one season, and most are probably killed by the first major frost of the year.  We don’t know why you are finding so many dead Wheel Bugs at this time.  We do not believe the heat is a factor.

Subject:  Luna Moth Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Eagle River, Wisconsin
Date: 10/01/2019
Time: 10:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this caterpillar on a nearby wooded pathway yesterday, and didn’t know what it was or where it was going–end of September can usher in very cold temperatures here.  So, at home we identified it as a Luna Moth Caterpillar.  We want to properly release it back into the wild.  It would be lovely to have seen it develop into the moth, but we don’t feel confident that we can keep it healthy.  Will it over-winter here in the North?  or Will it still be able to mate yet this autumn?  It was found under a soft Maple tree quite close to a lake and alder bushes near the lake and surrounding wetland.  I was even wondering if it could drown?  Thank you for information so that we can release it soon and get it on its way to the right environment.
How you want your letter signed:  The Rasmussens

Polyphemus Caterpillar

Dear Rasmussens,
Luna Moth Caterpillars and Polyphemus Moth Caterpillars can be difficult to distinguish from one another.  We believe your caterpillar is a Polyphemus Caterpillar.  The identifying feature is a pale yellow band that runs through the spiracles or breathing holes on the Polyphemus Caterpillar.  It is described on BugGuide as:  “Larva: body large, bright green, with red and silvery spots below setae, and oblique yellow lines running through spiracles on abdomen; diagonal streak of black and silver on ninth abdominal segment; head and true legs brown; base of primary setae red, subdorsal and lateral setae have silver shading below; end of prolegs with yellow ring, and tipped in black.”  At this time of year in your location, we speculate this individual is preparing to pupate and it will overwinter in the cocoon.  Caterpillars are not aquatic.  They can drown.

Dear Daniel:?? Thank you for the information.?? It is nice to know what it is– Polyphemus, not Luna, and that it will overwinter.?? It started spinning yesterday between two leaves in the leaf litter at the bottom of the container, currently in our garage.?? So now, we will have to decide the next step:?? possibly to get info on overwintering it in our refrigerator with a constant temperature or it will be subjected to?? subzero temperatures for much of our Northern Wisconsin winter.?? If you had thoughts and time on this, don’t hesitate to drop a line.?? We appreciate and feel fortunate to have had your communication.?? Much of the information we were finding is not specific in details or confusing.???? –Patty & Eric Rasmussen

Dear Patty and Eric,
We do not raise caterpillars, but in captivity, one needs to be cognizant of temperature and humidity.  Too warm and the moth will emerge prematurely.  Too damp or too dry it might not survive.  We would recommend keeping it outdoors in a protected location where it will benefit from precipitation, but not get too wet.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Never Before Seen Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Sylmar, Ca
Date: 09/30/2019
Time: 02:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  After coming home from work around 6:30 p.m. I saw this interesting specimen. I thought it was a young grasshopper but it doesn’t quite match the photos I have seen online. From my perspective it looked like a cross between a walking stick and a grasshopper. I would greatly appreciate an identification.
How you want your letter signed:  Most curious

Chaparral Monkey Grasshopper

Dear Most Curious,
This is definitely a Grasshopper, and we believe, based on its silhouette, that it is a Chaparral Monkey Grasshopper,
Morsea californica, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the range is “mountains of southern California (south of Mojave Desert and Central Valley).” 

Subject:  Green Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Tomball Texas
Date: 09/27/2019
Time: 07:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just curious what kind of beetle it is. They are beautiful. Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Brianne

Green June Beetle

Dear Brianne,
This is one of the Green June Beetles in the genus
Cotinis, but we are not certain of the species.  Texas is the western edge of the reported range of the Green June Beetle, Cotinis nitida, according to BugGuide data, and Texas is the eastern edge of the reported range of the Green Fig Beetle or Figeater, Cotinis mutabilis, according to BugGuide data.  To further complicate matters, we have learned that Tomball, Texas is just north of Houston, which opens up the possibility that this might be the South Texas Coastal Cotinis, Cotinis boylei, which is profiled on Texas Entomology, though we believe that to be the least likely of the three possible species.

Subject:  Strange bug on driveway
Geographic location of the bug:  Highlands of Rep of Panama,Boquete specifically
Date: 09/28/2019
Time: 10:24 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Could you please look at this and identify him/her. Suggestion given by neighbours is a harlequin bug but I don’t think so, the ‘leaves’ on the legs don’t seem to be on any photos I looked at for Harlequins.
How you want your letter signed:  Carol

Flag Footed Bug

Dear Carol,
This is a Flag Footed Bug, 
Anisocelis flavolineata.  The species is pictured on Project Noah.