Subject:  Beautiful biting fly (with bonus Karner Blue)
Geographic location of the bug:  Albany Pine Bush, Albany, NY
Date: 07/07/2020
Time: 12:33 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Susan B. here with another dispatch from the Albany Pine Bush! I was having a nice raspberry-picking expedition along the trail when a rather beautiful fly came along and landed on my finger. I was so enchanted by its incredible eyes that I failed to notice it had stabbed its proboscis right into my flesh! I shooed it away, and I still have a sore spot where it bit me. Any idea who this rude little creature was?
Astute viewers will notice that while I was dealing with the fly situation, I was also providing transport to another, equally beautiful but much more polite hitchhiker: a Karner Blue that had come along and landed on my finger a few minutes earlier. I’m pleased to say I managed to both photograph and shoo the fly without disturbing my other passenger, who stuck around, lapping up my sweat, for a good quarter mile of trail.
How you want your letter signed:  Susan B.

Deer Fly

Dear Susan,
Thanks for your highly entertaining query.  You have been bitten by a Deer Fly.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed on plant nectar; females on vertebrate blood; larvae carnivorous and detritus feeders.”  You described their “incredible eyes”, and this BugGuide image beautifully captures the details of the eyes of a Deer Fly. Blues are one of the groups of butterflies that frequently have “puddle parties” on damp earth, a behavior beautifully described by Vladimir Nabakov in his fiction, and scientists believe they derive important minerals from this behavior.  We suspect your salty perspiration fulfilled your Karner Blue‘s need for moisture and minerals.

Karner Blue

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Tarantula hawk?
Geographic location of the bug:  Highlands of Chiriqui, Rep of Panamá
Date: 07/07/2020
Time: 04:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We saw this approx 2 inch wasp? scuttling across a spare lot on our community today. We do see tarantulas reasonably often and wondered if it was a female hunting for a host. Is there any way to differentiate between a male or female? Never seen another one in our 8 years in Panamá, the colours looked beautiful in the sunshine. Thanks, Carol
How you want your letter signed:  Carol

Spider Wasp

Hi Carol,
We are very confident this is a Spider Wasp in the family Pompilidae, but we cannot state for certain that it is a Tarantula Hawk.  Your individual resembles this image posted to FlickR.  The hunting behavior you witnessed indicates this is likely a female.  Males do not hunt for spiders, and they can generally be found nectaring.

Spider Wasp

Subject:  Identification of Insect Request
Geographic location of the bug:  Trinidad & Tobago, Caribbean
Date: 07/06/2020
Time: 05:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help me identify this scary looking creature. I saw it outside my home a couple weeks ago when the rainy season became more intense. I live on the hilly part of North Trinidad, which is an island in the Caribbean. The bug was probably one and a half inches long and 1 inch wide. I left it alone and it disappeared after a while. The area is a little bushy with a few fruit trees around. Thanks for your help.
How you want your letter signed:  Aisha Baptiste

Male Carpenter Bee

Dear Aisha,
This is a harmless male Carpenter Bee.  Male Carpenter Bees are incapable of stinging.  Only the females, which are generally larger and often exhibit sexual dimorphism, are capable of stinging.  While males of many species of Carpenter Bees are often gold in color, the females are generally larger and often black in color, appearing to be a different species.

Dear Daniel,
Thanks so much for your prompt response! I do appreciate all of this information.
Best Regards,
Aisha.

Dear Daniel,
Sorry to bother you again, but after reading the Barbados account, I just realised that we also refer to the female Carpenter bee as a black bumble bee in Trinidad (and I was stung by one as a child). This was a real eye opener. Thanks again!
Regards,
Aisha

Hi again Aisha,
Female Carpenter Bees are not aggressive, though they are capable of stinging.  We are cheered to learn our response was helpful and eye opening.

I agree they aren’t aggressive. I was about 5 or 6 years old and it actually landed on me when I was walking home from school. I began to yell and scream and another child told me to hit it with my lunch kit and that’s when I got stung on my belly.

Swatting an unknown insect that lands on one is a good way to get bitten or stung.  Creatures will defend themselves.  Though at five or six, you might not have realized this, but it is a far better method to blow an unknown creature off of one’s body, if possible.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Robber Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  San Antonio TX
Date: 07/06/2020
Time: 05:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Took a few photos of this beautiful bug in my backyard.
May be a robber fly just hatched.
How you want your letter signed:  Niccodemure

Belzebul Bee Eater

Dear Niccodemure,
Thanks so much for sending in your gorgeous images of a very impressive Belzebul Bee Eater, one of the most magnificent North American Robber Flies. Daniel is running a bit behind this month, but he has selected your submission as the Bug of the Month for July 2020

Belzebul Bee Eater

Subject:  Brown Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Hide-A_Way Hills, Hocking Cty, OH 43107
Date: 06/18/2020
Time: 08:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this by our front door, June 16, 2020.  Could not find the exact same one online.  What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Jan

Tulip Tree Silkmoth

Dear Jan,
This looks to us like a male Tulip Tree Silkmoth,
Callosamia angulifera, and it is pictured on BugGuide.  It is one of the Giant Silkmoths in the family Saturniidae.  Giant Silkmoths only live a few days, long enough to mate.  They do not feed as adults.

Subject:  bug with armor plate shield and pincers
Geographic location of the bug:  Sedona Arizona
Date: 06/19/2020
Time: 03:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Spotted this bug on window trim behind a planter and thought it was a grasshopper, but at closer look saw this cool looking bug with what looks like an armor shield plate and silvery looking design across its head. Never seen anything like it. But what IS it?
How you want your letter signed:  Lea

Female Dobsonfly

Dear Lea,
This is a female Dobsonfly, and because of your location, we believe it is 
Corydalus texanus which is pictured on BugGuide.

Thank you for your response.
Yes that’s it.
It’s been hanging out in th at same spot on the window trim outside my front door for about a week.Hasn’t moved. Maybe getting bugs when they come toward the night light. Humm.
Don’t know what it’s eating but it’s hanging on. It’s a shaded spot even when the sun’s out and sometimes it/she turns her head when I check on her. Can’t figure out what she’s waiting for but must feel safe as the spot is behind a hanging planter away from predictors.
So I guess I’ll name her Scooby Doo.

We are pretty certain Dobsonflies do not feed as adults.  Perhaps she is conserving her energy until she mates.