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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

Daniel,
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.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spider subduing a Butterfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Great Falls National Park, Great Falls, Virginia
Date: 07/08/2018
Time: 02:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I witnessed this butterfly being subdued by the spider, having being caught in it’s web, and I am having trouble identifying either the butterfly or the spider. I hope you can help me. In any case, certainly it was fascinating to watch. The butterfly ceased it’s struggles in about a minute.
How you want your letter signed:  Seth

Hackberry Emperor

Dear Seth,
Based on this BugGuide image, we feel confident this butterfly is a Hackberry Emperor,
Asterocampa celtis, though we acknowledge it might be a similar looking relative from the genus.  Because of the orb web, we are confident the Spider is an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, but we cannot provide a species.  It looks immature, and it is often difficult to conclusively identify immature individuals.  In fact, it is also difficult to provide conclusive species identifications from adult Orbweavers.  Orbweavers pose no danger to humans.  They are docile spiders that spin webs, often very strong webs, and they wait patiently in the web to snare prey.  They rarely leave their webs. 

Subject:  Big black bug with blue wings
Geographic location of the bug:  Czech Republic, South Moravia
Date: 07/09/2018
Time: 09:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I’ve seen this bug on the sideway, we’ve seen anything like this never before.
Any ideas what is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Nice but unknown bug

Violet Carpenter Bee

This is a Violet Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa violacea, a species we identified on iNaturalist.  Perhaps due to global warming, it has recently been reported from the UK where it has spread from its normal rage that included continental Europe.  According to Independent:  “Even though it is one of the scariest-looking insects you’re ever likely to catch sight of (typically measuring at least 25mm in length but appearing considerably larger in flight), it is the violet, not the violent carpenter bee. A killer bee it is not; it is not aggressive and is unlikely to sting you. The name comes from the violet wings, which appear to give a blue sheen to its black body when in flight.”  According to Life In Galicia:  “they are harmless – only the female can sting but will do so only if directly provoked. The male just buzzes about, guards the nest and looks after the female.” 

Subject:  9” long insect in PA!
Geographic location of the bug:  Enola, Pennsylvania
Date: 07/08/2018
Time: 05:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi – I found this large insect on my exterior house wall early evening, July 8th, 2018. It did not move at all, as I was taking the photo or when I placed the measuring tape next to it. We have 20 acres of woods around us, so our home is pretty shaded. Native? I have lived here 13 years and I have not seen this insect before. I sent the image to my neighbor and he said he saw the same insect, last week, also for the first time,  by his office in York, PA. His office is located in an industrial area. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Anneli

Wrote wrong dimensions in question.
Hi – I submitted an insect ID question this morning, but being European I wrote 9” instead of about 9 cm! Sorry – Anneli

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Anneli,
Even at a more modest four inches in length, the male Dobsonfly startles many folks upon their first encounter, and even subsequent encounters trigger fear, but the male Dobsonfly is perfectly harmless.  His impressive mandibles cannot harm a human.  They are used during the mating ritual.  Semi-aquatic laval Dobsonflies, known as Hellgrammites, are used as bait by many fishermen.