Subject:  Black striped beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  North San Diego County, CA
Date: 11/05/2018
Time: 03:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This guy was sitting on a stucco wall, then moved to the pavement. Any idea what he/she is?  He/she was about an inch long.
How you want your letter signed:  Sarah L

Diaprepes Root Weevil

Dear Sarah,
Thanks for resending your images.  We are currently undergoing some technical difficulties.  This is a Diaprepes Root Weevil and according to BugGuide:  “Native to the Caribbean, adventive and established in so. US: so. & central FL (1964), so. TX (Cameron & Hidalgo Cos 2000, Corpus Christi 2005, Houston 2009;), so. CA (2005), LA (2008); further north in greenhouses.”  BugGuide also notes:  “highly polyphagous; larvae feed on roots, adults on foliage of citrus trees (esp. oranges in TX) and almost 300 other plant species” and “Major pest of citrus crops.”

Thanks so much, Daniel! I’d never seen anything looking like that before here in Southern California. (And I’m a native!) I guess I’ll kill any others I find since I do have citrus trees.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  what’s this bug?!
Geographic location of the bug:  Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica
Date: 11/09/2018
Time: 10:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this bug in the heliconia on our farm above Turrialba. It was early in the morning in June. The children would love to learn what it is and why it has hooks on its feet.
How you want your letter signed:  Holden


Dear Holden,
This is a beetle known as a Weevil.  Based on Nature Closeups, it seems to be
Cholus costaricensis, and searching that name led us to iNaturalist.

Subject:  Unknown bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Date: 11/08/2018
Time: 04:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, my family found a blue and white striped caterpillar and this website is the only place that jas a picture of it we would love your help.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you for your time and consideration, Emily Quick

Prickly Pear Borer

Dear Emily,
This Caterpillar looks familiar to us, and we suspect we have previously identified it somewhere in our archives.  It reminds us of a Carpenter Moth Caterpillar in the family Cossidae, but we cannot substantiate that suspicion at this time.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in this identification.

Prickly Pear Borer

Update:  November 21, 2018
Thanks to a comment from Karl, we have identified this Prickly Pear Borer.  According to BugGuide other common names include:  “banded cactus borers (larvae of junctolineella and subumbrella) and blue cactus borers (larvae of dentata and prodenialis).”

Prickly Pear Borer

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this insect?
Geographic location of the bug:  Outer Eastern Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Date: 11/08/2018
Time: 06:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi bugman, just wondering what these are. They are swarming a chilli bush. I’m thinking they’re predatory, but I’m not sure.
How you want your letter signed:  Andy G

Beautiful Cockroach Nymph

Dear Andy,
This is a Beautiful Cockroach nymph,
Ellipsidion australe, and though it is not a predatory species, it is also not a species that will infest homes.  According to the Brisbane Insect site:  “Not all cockroaches are ugly. This Austral Ellipsidion Cockroach looks beautiful. Its body is orange-brown to dark brown with white patterns. Its thorax is dark brown with a good looking yellow around the edge. The cockroach adult is winged, with brown forewings covered the black and white abdomen. Male and female look almost the same. Nymphs have the similar body structure except wingless. …They are very good runners.  This Cockroach  is active at day time, running openly on the leaves and flowers. Most other cockroaches are scavengers, they feed on almost everything. We are not exactly sure what this Austral Ellipsidion Cockroach feeds on, but they are always found on plants, seldom on the ground. They are believed feeding on pollen, honeydew and mould fungus. 

Subject:  what is it?
Geographic location of the bug:  Oakland CA, when air quality dangerous due to fire smoke
Date: 11/09/2018
Time: 02:21 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this in a 2nd story laundry room which is not damp.   It was on a white quilt and appeared to be alone.  it is very very smokey outside due to distant forest fires and we wondered if that may have driven it inside?
How you want your letter signed:  pearl

Snakefly Larva

Dear Pearl,
This is a Snakefly larva, a harmless predator that is not normally found indoors, though we do not believe the fire was a factor in you finding it indoors.

Subject:  Crab spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Killeen, Texas
Date: 11/09/2018
Time: 07:31 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This looks like a crab spider. Found this beauty on my kitchen counter at O-dark thirty! Startled me but then I spent a good 5 minutes trying to get an adequate picture.
How you want your letter signed:  Michelle in Killeen, Texas

Crab Spider

Dear Michelle,
This is indeed a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae, but we are not certain of the species.  Crab Spiders are not considered dangerous to people.