Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Gloucester pool on the Trent Severn waterway
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 01:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  A caterpillar like this stung my son last weekend. After it crawled across his hand he had a double track of very itchy sore spots
How you want your letter signed:  Pam

Io Moth Caterpillar

Dear Pam,
We needed to research your location which we mistakenly thought was in the UK.  Now that we know you are in Ontario, Canada, your son being stung by an Io Moth Caterpillar makes sense.  This is a North American species with a well documented history of stinging.  According to Poison Help:  “The nettling organs are borne on fleshy tubercles, and the spines are usually yellow with black tips. The spines are connected to poison glands.”  You may also read about them on Entomology University of Kentucky.  To the best of our knowledge, the reaction is localized and though painful, the sting is not a cause of concern, though we would always recommend seeking medical advice if there are any concerns.

Thank you very much!  Will pass on the info to my son.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar we’ve never seen
Geographic location of the bug:  Belfast, Maine
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 12:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We saw this caterpillar this morning in our yard.  We simply can’t find any one similar in trying to identify what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Katie

Paddle Caterpillar

Dear Katie,
The Paddle Caterpillar,
Acronicta funeralis, is surely a distinctive species.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on leaves of alder, apple, birch, blueberry/huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.), cottonwood, dogwood, elm, hazel, hickory, maple, oak, willow.”

Thank you so much!!  My daughter will be ecstatic to know we got a reply.  We truly appreciate it!

Subject:  What is this thing
Geographic location of the bug:  Abilene Texas
Date: 08/13/2019
Time: 03:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is in my office building and I can’t figure out what it is
How you want your letter signed:  Assistant needing assistance

Plastic Bag with Quarters

Dear Assistant needing assistance,
This appears to us to be a small plastic bag containing quarters, a nail, a small piece of plastic and some debris.

Facebook Comment from Toby:  And a piece of spaghetti noodle

Ed. Note:  Toby might be right.  What we thought might be a small piece of plastic does look like a piece of cooked spaghetti that has dried out.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  probably cicadomorpha
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix, Arizona.
Date: 08/13/2019
Time: 07:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug in the evening on a dead tree while grilling, it was origanoly above the stick but when I moved my camera closer to it it moved below. The next day I looked on the tree and I did not find it on the branch that it was sitting on before or any of those around it. I searched for it on google for at least an hour but found nothing quite like it.
How you want your letter signed:  christopher walker

Jewel Beetle: Acmaeodera gibbula

Dear Christopher,
This is a Metallic Borer Beetle or Jewel Beetle in the family Buprestidae, and upon researching its identity, we found this similar looking individual identified as 
Acmaeodera rubronotata on Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, but the red markings are different as are the white spotting pattern.  We suspected the genus was correct, but not the species.  We browsed BugGuide, but we still could not identify the species and we were daunted by the information “144 spp. in 2 subgenera in our area.”  We believe we correctly identified your beetle as Acmaeodera gibbula thanks to Arizona Naturalists.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae mostly host on various legumes.”

Subject:  Found dozens dead by the river
Geographic location of the bug:  Western Massachusetts
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 08:45 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello bugman-
I was walking by the river this morning and found dozens of these bugs dead on small rocks. I cannot identify them. Do you know what they are? And is it normal to come across what seems like a mass death? Thanks for any insight you can provide and keep up the amazing work!
How you want your letter signed:  Best wishes, Lucy

Stonefly Exuviae

Dear Lucy,
These are not dead insects.  They are the exuviae or shed exoskeletons of Stonefly naiads.  The aquatic larvae of Stonflies are aquatic, and when they approach maturity, they climb out of the water and molt for the final time, emerging as winged adults.  You did not encounter a “mass death” but rather, evidence of a mass emergence.

That is amazing! Thanks so much for letting me know. I’ll read up on this. So cool…
Every day in the woods is a new adventure. So much to learn and be awed by.
Thanks again for taking time to explain. I truly appreciate it.
Warmest regards,

Subject:  Big Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Carlsbad, California
Date: 08/13/2019
Time: 11:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this large moth outside my workplace. It made me think of the peppered moths I read about in high school, but I don’t know if they’d be found in Southern California
How you want your letter signed:  Thomas

Rustic Sphinx

Dear Thomas,
We don’t know what “peppered moths” are, but this is a Rustic Sphinx.

Rustic Sphinx