Subject:  Black bugs with white spots on pepper plants
Geographic location of the bug:  Reading, PA
Date: 06/15/2018
Your letter to the bugman:  I am finding these bugs all over my tomato and pepper plants. They are also all over the front of my house. I can’t seem to find them online. Could you identify them
How you want your letter signed:  Ron Zeiber

Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs

Dear Ron,
The moment we read your subject line, we surmised you are being troubled by immature Spotted Lanternflies,
Lycorma delicatula, and your image proved us correct.  The Spotted Lanternfly is an Invasive Exotic species first reported in North America in 2014.  According to BugGuide:  “Native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam; invasive in Korea and in our area(1). Currently (2018) known from 6 counties in PA; also found in DE, NY, VA.”  According to the Government of Canada website:  “The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) is an impressive and colourful insect native to Asia, and has been recognised as a potential threat to the grape, fruit tree and forestry industries in Canada. It was first detected in North America in Pennsylvania in September 2014. As it is not known to exist in Canada, spotted lanternfly was added to the regulated pest list in 2018 in an effort to prevent the introduction from infested areas. Early detection activities would make managing the pest easier due to the discovery of this insect in the United States and the volume of articles potentially carrying the insect arriving from Asia. It can be distinguished from all other native and naturalized insects (such as planthoppers, moths) in Canada by its unique colouration. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cerambycidae, but which one
Geographic location of the bug:  Europe/Poland
Date: 06/14/2018
Time: 03:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I am trying to identify this one, without luck.
Please help ! 🙂
How you want your letter signed:  Piotr Podermanski

Longicorn is Black Pine Sawyer

Got it, it’s  Monochamus galloprovincialis.

Dear Piotr,
We are happy you were able to identify your Black Pine Sawyer, which is the common name used on iNaturalist where it states:  “The Pine sawyer beetle (
Monochamus galloprovincialis), also referred to as the Black pine sawyer beetle, is a species of beetle in the family Cerambycidae. It was described by Olivier in 1795, originally under the genus Cerambyx. It has a wide distribution, occurring naturally throughout Europe and the Caucasus. It has also been introduced into the Canary Islands.”

Subject:  Big striped bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Edmond, OK
Date: 06/15/2018
Time: 10:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My son found this bug near a creek. It looked dead, as flies were crawling on it. It’s over an inch long.
How you want your letter signed:  Gage

Cottonwood Borer

Dear Gage,
This magnificent beetle is a Cottonwood Borer, and since cottonwood trees are frequently found near water sources, that would explain the beetles proximity to the creek.  The fly appears to be a Flesh Fly.

Cottonwood Borer and Flesh Fly


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Robber fly
Geographic location of the bug:  South-central New York state
Date: 06/14/2018
Time: 07:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I discovered this on a pepper plant on my deck, and have never seen it before. I think it may be a species of robber fly. Can you identify it?
How you want your letter signed:  Eric


Dear Eric,
This is a female Stinkfliege in the family Xylophagidae.  According to BugGuide, the female can be recognized because, among other traits, she is:  “Shiny orange with light-orange abdomen, almost white.”  Of the family, BugGuide notes:  “Adults sometimes take nectar and other fluids” and “Larvae scavengers or predators.”

Subject:  Monster Robberfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Jones Hole Creek Northeast Utah, near Colorado border
Date: 06/14/2018
Time: 02:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this  big guy on a hiking trail with my family in north eastern Utah.     Kind of looks a bit like like a Robber Fly,  but it’s HUGE!
How you want your letter signed :  Steven Erickson & Family

Possibly Flower Loving Fly

Dear Steven,
We agree that this does resemble a Robber Fly, and being huge is not an exclusionary trait for the family as there are many very large Robber Flies, including the Bezebul Bee Eater, and though the linked image from our archives is not critically sharp, the size of the Red Wasp prey should give you some sense of scale.  We were not successful in finding a matching image on BugGuide, which might indicate it is a rarely encountered species due to the remote location, or perhaps it is not a Robber Fly.  What we can say with some degree of certainty is that this individual is female because of the space between the eyes and that is blends perfectly with the color of the sand indicating it had adapted well to the environment.  We did some additional research on BugGuide on other families in the superfamily to which the Robber Flies belong, Asiloidea, and we feel there are some Flower Loving Flies in the family Apioceridae that look quite similar, but not exactly alike, including this unidentified individual on BugGuide and this member of the genus
Apiocera on BugGuide.  Our editorial staff is currently out of the office on holiday, but next week when we return, we will consult with Eric Eaton to get his opinion.  If we are correct that this is a Flower Loving Fly in the family Apioceridae, then this will be a new category for our archives.  Also, in an effort to provide accuracy in the location, we surmise that you mean Jones Hole Creek and not Joned Hole Creek.

Robber Fly, we suspect

Update:  We just posted this image of a Stinkfliege in the family Xylophagidae and we can’t help but to entertain the possibility that this Fly might also be a member of that family.

Update:  June 16, 2018
After further pondering and a comment from Cesar Crash, we agree that this is most likely a species of Robber Fly.

Subject:  Elm scale?
Geographic location of the bug:  Brighton, UK
Date: 06/13/2018
Time: 03:08 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this bug?!
Is it a bug in cocoon form?
How you want your letter signed:  BugGirl

Scale Insects

Dear BugGirl,
These are definitely Scale Insects, and we suspect you questioned if they are Elm Scale because they were found on an elm tree.  There is an image of Horse Chestnut Scales, Pulvinaria regalis, on the Bedfordshire Natural History Society site that looks very similar and this information is provided:  “This species probably originates in Asia, but has become widespread in central and northwest Europe since the 1960s. It is broadly polyphagous on woody plants. It is the most common coccid in urban areas throughout most of Britain but also occurs at low densities in rural areas. In Beds it has been found in Bedford, Bigglesworth, Caddington, Dunstable, Flitwick, Leighton Buzzard, Luton, Luton Hoo, Sandy, Swiss Cottage and Whipsnade; on bay laurel, elm, ivy, horse chestnut, lime, maple and sycamore.”

Thank you so much for getting back to me.
I love your site!