Subject:  Big caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Oklahoma
Date: 10/06/2018
Time: 02:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
My friend and I were walking yesterday and came across this beauty.  Could you please tell us what it is?  Thanks for the help!
How you want your letter signed:  Dana and Laurie

Luna Moth Caterpillar

Dear Dana and Laurie,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae, and based on this BugGuide image, we are nearly certain it is a pre-pupal Luna Moth Caterpillar.  This species often turns from green to orange as its time for pupation approaches.

Thank you so much for the information!  My 2nd graders just submitted an entry to the Ugly Bug Contest so I’m really paying attention to bugs right now.  I’ll share this experience with them so that they know that this is available to them.  Really appreciate your time!
Dana Stair
Gifted Resources Coordinator
Jefferson Elementary
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  El Sereno, Los Angeles
Date: 10/06/2018
Time: 06:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is hanging from my citrus tree. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Emily

Bolas Spider Egg Sacs

Dear Emily,
These are egg sacs of a Bolas Spider,
Mastophora cornigera, a harmless Orbweaver.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  BugGuide also contains this bit of fascinating information:  “When egg sacs hatch they release immature females and *mature* males! Presumably an adaptation to avoid inbreeding. Males are short-lived and much smaller (obviously) than females.”  The eggs will hatch in the spring. 

Subject:  Found on Arizona Cypress
Geographic location of the bug:  Boca Raton, FL
Date: 10/06/2018
Time: 05:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  After seeing my Cypress being infected by something – it seemed like it occurred overnight – I checked it carefully and found this pine cone looking creature on my cypress, pulled it off and it MOVED in my hand! When I put it on the ground, a caterpillar-looking creature stuck it’s head out. I actually removed thousands which I think can be called a severe infestation.  (Is it a saw fly larvae.)
How can I stop further destruction to my tree? And avoid cross contamination to another cypress nearby.
How you want your letter signed:  Carol in Boca


Dear Carol in Boca,
You have Bagworms, the larvae of a moth in the family Psychidae.  According to BugGuide:  “
Larvae (bagworms) construct spindle-shaped bags covered with pieces of twigs, leaves, etc., and remain in them — enlarging the bags as they grow — until they pupate (also in the bag). Adult females remain in the bag, emitting pheromones which attract adult males to mate with them.  Eggs are laid inside the bag, and when they hatch the larvae crawl away to begin construction of their own individual cases.”  We do not provide extermination advice.

Thank you Daniel for the weekend answer.  They are marvelous creatures that disguise themselves EXTREMELY well. For my next mission: to make sure I see them and get rid of them well before they multiply.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Identify this beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Date: 10/06/2018
Time: 11:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, cane across this beetle and looking to ID it
It was around the length of an iPhone 5 if that helps
How you want your letter signed:  Email

Usher Hopper

Dear Email,
This is not a beetle.  It is a Grasshopper in the family Pyrgomorphidae, and we have identified a previously submitted individual as an Usher Hopper,
Poekilocerus bufonius.  According to TrekNature:  “The distribution ranges from Syria to Egypt and NW Saudi Arabia. … The genus Poekilocerus belongs to the family of highly colorful species that can be found in tropical regions around the world. This animal announced its non-patability by a yellowish secretion. Its preferred food are Milkweed plants, and the animal seems to harbour some of the bitter ingredients of the plants in its hemolymph.” 

Subject:  Black bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwest Mississippi
Date: 10/03/2018
Time: 04:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this thing? Is it dangerous?
How you want your letter signed:  Judy

Bot Fly

Dear Judy,
This is a Bot Fly in the genus
Cuterebra, and it poses no threat to humans.  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.” We will attempt to contact Jeff Boettner to see if he can provide any species information.

Bot Fly

Thank you! I’ve heard of bot flies….mainly on Dr. Pol. Never thought I’d see one. I appreciate your help.

Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Date: 10/03/2018
Time: 11:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  The cat was playing with this bug in the hallway. Can you help me identify it please? Are they poisonous?
How you want your letter signed:  Afraid to walk in the dark


Dear Afraid to walk in the dark,
This is a predatory Solifugid, sometimes called a Sun Spider or Wind Scoripion, but unlike its venomous relatives, the Solifugid is venomless, meaning it is no threat to you or your cat.  We should caution you that they have strong mandibles, and they might bite if carelessly handled.