Subject:  Black Flying Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Upstate New York
Date: 07/20/2021
Time: 06:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Helli, We have these insects around our deck for the first time this year. We have lived here for 30+ years. Are they wasps, hornets or something else? Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Susan

Common Blue Mud-Dauber Wasps

Dear Susan,
We believe these are Common Blue Mud-Dauber Wasps,
Chalybion californicum, which are pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “A large, active, blue-black wasp with irridescent blue wings. Frequents flowers for nectar and buildings for nest sites.” and “Females construct mud nests in sheltered areas, often under the eaves of buildings, and provision them with spiders.”  We suspect they are searching for mud near your deck for nest building.

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Ontario, Canada
Date: 07/19/2021
Time: 08:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi bugman. These bugs seems to love my raspberry’s, they also love loving on the leaves(as you can see). Do you know what they are?
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely, Andrew

Japanese Beetles Mating and Eating Raspberries

Dear Andrew,
Let us introduce you to the Japanese Beetle, a species loathed by American gardeners, especially those who grow roses, for over 100 years.  According to BugGuide:  “earliest record in our area: NJ 1916.”

Subject:  iD this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  South Carolina
Date: 07/20/2021
Time: 05:14 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This flying insect along with many more of the same were swarming low to the ground around some blooming flowers. However they seemed more interested in the pine straw than the nectar. Will he sting? Children pass through here often.
How you want your letter signed:  Kim

Male Velvet Ant

Dear Kim,
There is a group of flightless female Wasps in the family Mutillidae that are commonly called Velvet Ants because they resemble Ants, and they are known to deliver a very painful sting.  Only the females are flightless and though the family is referred to as Velvet Ants, it is only the females that truly deserve that name, but for the sake of convenience, we will call this a male Velvet Ant.  We believe based on this BugGuide image that the species is
Dasymutilla occidentalis.  The stinger of a Bee or Wasp is a modified ovipositor, an organ used in the laying of eggs.  Male wasps do not lay eggs, do not need an ovipositor, and consequently, they cannot sting.  Watch for the flightless female Velvet Ants called Cowkillers.  They do sting and the sting is reported to be quite painful.

Subject:  Big bug, hot for limes
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/19/2021
Time: 06:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this fella on my lime tree, just cruising around.
Taken June 7th.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug curious

Hornworm looks like Carolina Sphinx

Dear Bug curious,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth in the Sphingidae family, and it appears to be a Carolina Sphinx which is pictured on BugGuide.  The Carolina Sphinx feeds on the leaves of tomato, pepper and other solanaceous plants and not the leaves of a lime tree.  Do you have tomatoes or other related plants nearby?

Hi Daniel.
The plants nearby are a laurel tree, a rosemary plant, and a Portuguese blood orange tree.
About 50 feet away are some habanero plants, so maybe that’s it.
No tomatoes.
Basil? That’s not far away either, about 50 feet in another direction.

Subject:  Maybe a tiger bee fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Louisville, KY 40299
Date: 07/20/2021
Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman :  Good day sir, this (not so little) guy was hanging out on my front porch and wasn’t too disturbed by me getting my phone very close for these striking images. I placed a penny near it in a couple of photos so you could have a sense of scale. Wondered what exactly it is and if it is dangerous in any way. Thanks kindly!
How you want your letter signed:  Wayne H

Tachinid Fly

Dear Wayne,
Daniel just published an identification request for a Tiger Bee Fly, which is definitely not your fly.  This is actually a Parasitic Tachinid Fly in the family Tachinidae, a group with many individuals that are covered with course hairs, so they are sometimes called Bristle Flies. Your individual appears to be a member of the genus 
Leschenaultia which is pictured on BugGuide where the host prey is identified as members of several moth families. Insects that are parasitoids, meaning the eggs are laid on the bodies of host insects which are eaten alive, are often very specific about the host prey which is sometimes limited to a single species.  This fly poses no threat to humans.

Tachinid Fly

Thank you so much for the information!
Wayne Hutchins

Subject:  Large Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA
Date: 07/19/2021
Time: 02:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This fly(?) has been flying around my deck.  He is about 1″ long.  He seems to like sitting on this light colored umbrella, but he does land on darker surfaces.
How you want your letter signed :  NancyA

Tiger Bee Fly

Dear NancyA,
This impressive fly is a Tiger Bee Fly, a parasitoid that preys on Carpenter Bees.  According to the Missouri Department of Conservation:  “The female tiger bee fly deposits her eggs in places where carpenter bees have laid their eggs. The bee fly larvae eat the carpenter bee larvae.”

Thanks!  I thought I had not successfully submitted that email and photo, but
I guess I had!  I figured it out from a combination of searching the
WhatsThatBug web site and an Internet search and I was astounded to find out
what it is.  I definitely have carpenter bees.  In fact, one is giving me
trouble in the very table that the umbrella is stuck in that the fly was
sitting on when I took the photo!
Nancy Anthracite