Geographic location of the bug:  PAYSON, AZ
Date: 07/24/2021
Time: 04:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I noticed red stripes along wings and other pictures have no red. Is this a male or female
How you want your letter signed:  SUSIE COOKE

Oculea Moth

Dear Susie,
Thanks for submitting your image of a male Oculea Moth or Western Polyphemus Moth.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults are also similar to A. polyphemus, but darker and with more markings around the eye spots. ‘Upperside of wings is tan, sometimes with a yellowish or reddish tint. Forewing margin is the same color as the basal area; submarginal line is black. Rings around the eyespots are orange, blue, and black. Underside has contrasting rust, brown, and white markings.’ – Butterflies and Moths of North America”

Thank you for the information! Love your site

Subject:  Small black wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Charlottesville, VA
Date: 07/23/2021
Time: 12:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I’ve been finding lots of these insects in our basement — often dead. I’m not sure where they came from or how to keep them outside, but I figure a good first step will be identifying them! Thanks in advance for your help.
How you want your letter signed:  Kyle

Black Soldier Fly

Dear Kyle,
Though it resembles a Wasp, this is actually a harmless (doesn’t sting nor bite) Black Soldier Fly,
Hermetia illucens, also called a Window Fly because of the transparent features of its abdomen clearly visible in your image.  Have you a compost pile in or near your basement?  Black Soldier Fly larvae are frequently found in compost piles where they are considered beneficial.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much! As it happens, we have a compost pile right outside, so that’s definitely where they come from. Hopefully most end up staying outside.
Seriously, thank you so much for the quick reply. I know how many of these you get, and appreciate you taking the time.

Subject:  Large green bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Stretham near Ely
Date: 07/23/2021
Time: 07:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This large green flying bug landed on me yesterday. Its body was 30-35mm long and it had long curved antenna which do not show up too well on the photo.  Searched on Google to no avail. Could you please identify for me? Any info much appreciated
How you want your letter signed:  John

Musk Beetle

Dear John,
This Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae is commonly called a Musk Beetle, because according to Eakring Birds:  “This is a huge beetle, probably the largest species found in Nottinghamshire. It’s large size struck us when we found this adult on a Sallow trunk in Gamston Wood near Retford in July 2010 and more recently in June 2011 (top two photographs). On the day, we also saw a second beetle alight near the top of another Sallow in the adjacent Eaton Wood. These are believed to be the first site records, but this is a scarce beetle in Nottinghamshire anyway, and it’s stronghold may possibly be along the Trent and Idle Valleys. Named after it’s ability to produce a pleasant smell, Aromia moschata is a beetle that can also produce an audible sound when handled.”   The species is also pictured on FlickR.

Dear Daniel
Thanks for your speedy reply! I did not realise we had such a bug in the UK quite an eye opener! I have bought your book on Kindle so hope this will help me with future identifications. Good hunting!
Best regards
Dear John,
The Curious World of Bugs is not an identification guide, but rather a pop culture introduction to the wonderful world of things that crawl.  I hope you find it entertaining.

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider eats Honey Bee on Cannabis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/15/2021
Time: 09:24 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
This is not the first time I have seen a Honey Bee on my Cannabis.  The herb is pollinated by the wind.  Why are the Honey Bees attracted to my Cannabis?
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats Honey Bee

Dear Constant Gardener.
Thanks for your Food Chain image.  We don’t know why Honey Bees are attracted to
Cannabis.  There is a lengthy article on Bee Culture called Bees and Cannabis that states:  “The cannabis plant is mostly wind pollinated and therefore has not evolved to attract bees. It does not produce a smell that would attract bees, nor is it colorful and finally, and most importantly, it is unable to provide a reward in the form of floral nectar. As those familiar with Apis mellifera know, it is nectar and not pollen that is required by bees to make honey. But the male plant does provide pollen in some circumstances. The existing scholarly article on the topic (Dalio, J.S., 2012) notes that cannabis pollen seems to be a food of last resort for bees. The author notes that bees (in India where the observations occurred) turned to cannabis plants as a source of protein but only visited male plants during times of dehiscence when the male plant’s reproductive organs released pollen and that bees were only interested in that pollen during a pollen dearth.”

Subject:  Red spotted desert toad
Geographic location of the bug:  Kolob canyon utah
Date: 07/22/2021
Time: 11:55 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Noticed you don’t have any pictures of the red spotted desert toad. Please add this to your collection. Taken June 2021 Kolob canyon Utah.
How you want your letter signed:  Courtney

Red Spotted Desert Toad

Dear Courtney,
Thanks so much for submitting your images of the Red Spotted Desert Toad,
Bufo punctatus, after noticing its conspicuous absence in our archives.  According to Desert Museum:  “This toad is found from southern Nevada to southwestern Kansas, south to Hidalgo, Mexico, and throughout Baja California. It occurs from below sea level up to 7000 feet (1980 m).”

Red Spotted Desert Toad

Subject:  Spider or cricket?
Geographic location of the bug:  Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Date: 07/22/2021
Time: 11:46 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there,
My sister found this bug in her dining room. It was over an inch long as far as she can remember. Can you help us identify what the heck it was?
How you want your letter signed:  Sara

Golden Orbweaver

Dear Sara,
This is a Spider in the family commonly called the Orbweavers, and in Daniel’s opinion, this species,
Argiope aurantia, which is commonly called the Golden Orbweaver, is the most iconic species in the family found in North America.  They are sometimes called Writing Spiders because of the pattern known as stabilimentum they weave into their webs.