Subject:  Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars in Joshua Tree National Park
Geographic location of the bug:  Joshua Tree National Park, California
Date: 04/05/2019
Time: 8:15 AM PDT
Daniel took a much needed break from the office on Thursday to drive to Joshua Tree National Park with Sharon to view the superbloom phenomenon.  At the Cottonwood Springs entrance to the park, the wild flowers were most spectacular, and it seemed that every plant had at least one Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar feeding on the vegetation.  Sharon asked why there were so many.  In years with substantial precipitation falling in the desert, there is an increase in vegetation, and that provided more food for more caterpillars that in turn provide more food for birds, rodents and other insectivores.  Periodically, there are population explosions of Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars.  Though most of the caterpillars were dark, we were still able to locate a few lighter individuals.

Whitelined Sphinx Cateprillars: Dark and Light forms.

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars: Dark form

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar: Light form

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Luna moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Orange TX
Date: 04/04/2019
Time: 11:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve never encountered a Luna moth, so I was so excited to see it in the backyard. It’s amazing! When they fly it almost looks like they have tiny legs.
How you want your letter signed:  Stacy

Male Luna Moth

Dear Stacy,
Thanks so much for submitting the first Luna Moth report we received this year.  We always enjoy posting the first Luna Moth sighting each year.  April is quite late for a first submission since we often have January or February sightings reported for Texas and Florida, while sightings from Maine and Canada don’t usually happen until late May or June.

Subject:  Mystery bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Ohio
Date: 03/31/2019
Time: 12:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve never seen anything like this. Found on the floor of my house.
How you want your letter signed:  Matt

Darkling Beetle Larva

Dear Matt,
This appears to be an immature Fly, possibly a Leatherjacket, the larva of a Crane Fly.

Ed. Note:  We received a comment that this is a Darkling Beetle larva.  Here is a somewhat similar looking image from FLickR.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Big type
Geographic location of the bug:  North Carolina
Date: 04/03/2019
Time: 01:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  You’re kinda creepy
How you want your letter signed:  What type of bug

Mole Cricket

Calling our editorial staff “kinda creepy” does not seem to be the best strategy for getting your Mole Cricket identified.

Subject:  Hi I really want to know what this bug is thank you so much
Geographic location of the bug:  North georgia, usa
Date: 03/29/2019
Time: 03:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found a bug and I read that deathwatch beetles are a sign of bad omens. I’m hoping its can you tell me what bug this is? Thank you so much.
How you want your letter signed:  Kevin Kang (superstitious guy)

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Dear Kevin,
According to BugGuide, the larvae of Deathwatch Beetles are wood borers, but there is no mention about “bad omens.”  This is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, an invasive exotic species, that bad omen or not, poses a significant threat to North American agriculture.  Since its introduction in 1998, it has spread across the entire North American continent.

Subject:  What’s that bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Burwood Chrisfchurch5
Date: 03/31/2019
Time: 05:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found resting on wall of our house.
How you want your letter signed:  BRM

Stick Insect

Dear BRM,
This is a Stick Insect in the order Phasmatodea.  According to Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research:  “The New Zealand stick insect fauna contains 21 valid species in eight genera, but much taxonomic work remains to be done. Recent fieldwork and data analyses have revealed the presence of undescribed species, particularly in the South Island. Furthermore, several described species are of dubious validity. Current taxonomic research includes a large amount of collecting throughout New Zealand and all major offshore islands. Generic and species boundaries are being determined using both morphological and molecular genetic characters.”