Subject:  Huge spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Canonsburg pa
Date: 07/09/2018
Time: 03:36 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I keep finding these and others similar. They are tearing up the woods behind my home for a new complex.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks

Fishing Spider

This is a Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes, and they are not considered dangerous.  We are always sad to hear about habitat destruction in the name of progress.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar poisened little girl. URGENT HELP PLEASE!!
Geographic location of the bug:  Manguzi, Kwa Zulu Natak, South Africa
Date: 07/09/2018
Time: 05:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  one of the little children in our village has made contact with this hairy large and colourful caterpillar. She’s in ICU at a local rural clinic but we urgently need to identify and then get the correct treatment. I can only email the picture, not that computer clever to attach it here but I’ll try, Can you please send me an email address and i’ll send it on?
How you want your letter signed:  Debbie

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Debbie,
This is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, and we verified that observation on iSpot.  We have another posting on our site of this Lappet Moth Caterpillar and we provided a link to iSpot that identified it as the Toothed Cream Spot Eggar,
Catalebeda cuneilinea, but we were never able to find additional images to support that identification.  The original link we provided is now broken, and we still cannot verify that species identity.  We located a Zoological Bulletin article that discusses urticating or stinging hairs in a Spanish Lappet Moth species, Streblote panda, and if that characteristic is present in one member of the family, it may be shared by other family members.  That article states:  “The caterpillar of S. panda is known for its urticating properties. The urticating apparatus has not been studied in detail so far; Calvo & Molina (2008) simply mention that urticating retractable organs develop beginning from the second instar and appear as mere cuticle differentia- tions in the first instar. In the present study, details of the morphological structures responsible for the urticating properties are provided for the first time.”  Krishna Mohan Photography has this to say about a different Lappet Moth caterpillar species:  “Almost all stages these caterpillar are poisonous to human beings. Their hair results in urticarial rashes. When your skin brushes against these caterpillars, the spines break off, releasing an irritating fluid that produces an immediate stinging, burning sensation. The numbness and swelling that follow may extend to your whole arm or leg in severe cases. Red blotches may persist for a couple of days, accompanied by a weeping rash. Associated lymph nodes may swell and be tender for 12 to 24 hours. Systemic reactions may include nausea and vomiting.If one affects you, treat the symptoms. To remove any spines still in the skin, gently stick a piece of adhesive tape to the site and then pull it away. Applying cold compresses can lessen the pain and swelling. Pain medications and topical corticosteroid creams may help. If the symptoms include systemic reactions consult medical help.”  Though it is a different species, that information might help with your case.  We have another Lappet Moth Caterpillar in our archives and we linked to this iSpot posting that states:  ” Urticating moth caterpillar causing skin and respiratory problems in cattle” and “Causes skin and respiratory illness in cattle, one of the reasons for burning the heathland. Urticating setae identified by specialist.”  We hope that information helps and that the “poisoned” girl soon recovers.

Dear Daniel,
I cannot thank you enough for your prompt, informative and so very reassuring reply.  We got it through to the doctors just in time.
Things work very differently here in rural Africa and the “doctors” were talking about amputating one leg below the knee!  It was shocking and frightening,  but with your assistance she’s safely making a slow recovery – without any surgery.
Believe me, it was a desperate situation and without any knowledge we were supposed to rely on their opinion. Little Palilisa has got a lot to thank you for.  Really.
Many many thanks again. You made a HUGE difference!

Hi Debbie,
Thanks so much for writing back with your progress report.  Sitting in our office in front of the computer, we seriously doubt we ever have much impact in the world, especially since our editorial staff hasn’t any true qualifications in the world of entomology or medicine.  We are humbled that we had a positive impact on Palilisa’s life.

Subject:  Alien bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern New Jersey
Date: 07/09/2018
Time: 10:24 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Let the bug free or take it to someone you don’t like.
How you want your letter signed:  Organic Man

American Carrion Beetle

Dear Organic Man,
We vote for “let the bug free” in your garden.  This is an American Carrion Beetle, and it will feed upon dead animals in your garden, including moles, toads, snakes, and birds, and they will even feed on smelly mushrooms.  They will be advantageous to your organic garden since the larvae feed on some of the flesh as well as insects attracted to rotting carcasses.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Pretty flies
Geographic location of the bug:  Northwestern Ontario, Canada
Date: 07/06/2018
Time: 06:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found these in my back yard, early July.  I’ve been looking through some field guides and online but I haven’t been able to find anything that looks like this (talking about the three larger, spotted ones, though I don’t know what the smaller one is either). I’d say they were maybe between 5 and 7 mm long. Can you tell me what they are?
How you want your letter signed:  Val

Root Maggot Flies

Dear Val,
This identification proved challenging to us at first, but not because we couldn’t locate any matching images of your Flies.  We located unidentified matching images on FlickR and again on another FlickR page, but we finally located a FlickR page where these Flies are identified as
Anthomyia procellarisBugGuide has many images, but provides no common name for the species, but does indicated the family name of Root Maggot Flies, which tends to conflict with the information BugGuide provides:  “Larvae or puparia have been found in carcasses, bird nests (where they are believed to feed on droppings), eastern tent caterpillar tents (where they presumably feed on frass and/or dead caterpillars), and birch polypores (Polyporus betulinus).”  This is a new species for our site and only our second representative of the Root Maggot Fly family Anthomyiidae.

Root Maggot Fly

Subject:  Feather legged flying insect. Id?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tom’s River NJ
Date: 07/08/2018
Time: 12:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Early summer. This one hangs out at my pumpkin plant around noon. It looks like it pokes the vines with its abdomen then rests on one of the leaves
Thank you in advance.
How you want your letter signed:  Pumpkin watcher

Squash Vine Borer

Dear Pumpkin Watcher,
We have received numerous requests this summer to identify Squash Vine Borers, a species of moth that mimics a stinging wasp and lays its eggs on the the stems of plants in the squash family.  The larvae hatches and bores in the stems, often causing them to wither and die.

Subject:  Orange and Black beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Alameda Creek Trail, Union City, California
Date: 07/08/2018
Time: 02:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, Bugman.
Found this beetle clinging to a dried out bush. Went to photograph the insect and it fell to the ground and laid on its back. With a small twig, I turned it over several times, but the beetle insisted to roll on its back and play dead.  What is this bug?
How you want your letter signed:  John

Sexton Beetle

Dear John,
This is a Sexton Beetle or Burying Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  Sexton Beetles locate small dead animals, including mice, voles, birds, lizards and many others, and they bury them after laying eggs.  They sometimes guard the eggs and care for the young that feed on both the putrifying flesh and the other insects attracted to rotting flesh, including maggots.  Because of the red tips on the antennae and your location, our best species guess is the Yellow Bellied Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus guttala, which is pictured on BugGuide.

Before your reply, I had done some research on my own and found what I thought was a Burying Beetle.
Do you know if it is Necrophorus Americanus? Wikipedia lists them as Critically Endangered.
Thanks for the ID, Daniel.
~ John
Hi again John,
This is NOT the highly endangered American Burying Beetle which can be identified by its orange or red thorax.  See BugGuide for additional information on the American Burying Beetle.  Your individual is a member of the same genus, but it is not endangered.