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Subject:  Wheel Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Cut N Shoot Texas
Date: 09/30/2021
Time: 03:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This wheel bug mating was found on my back porch. Did not know what they were until I found your site. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you

Mating Wheel Bugs

We must thank you for cheering us up with your kind letter, and also because though we do not believe your image documents typical Wheel Bug mating, we are nonetheless thrilled to post it.  Probably the greatest reason your letter cheered us is that we just made a Wheel Bug posting Bug of the Month for October, but there is no reason we cannot add a second Bug of the Month posting for October, but with a more positive outcome for the Wheel Bugs.

Thank you, that was a strange bug!! And its not typical? I don’t know much about bugs, lol. However i did see one more picture of that bug with two of them on its back and it was called something like a mating frenzy haha.

Subject:  Evil Black Hellbug
Geographic location of the bug:  Baltimore Maryland
Date: 09/30/2021
Time: 08:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This hateful thing crawled into my steering wheel causing me to crash my car. In the interest of traumatizing myself again please tell me what it is so I can avoid it. Very long with a circular body part that had spiky pieces. Had to have have a mechanic take the wheel off just to get it out.
How you want your letter signed:  Terrified

The most awesome image of a Wheel Bug

Dear Terrified,
Franklin D. Roosevelt said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  This Wheel Bug is a predatory Assassin Bug and it might bite if provoked, and the bite would likely be painful if it occurred, but it is our opinion that Wheel Bugs are relatively docile as Assassin Bugs go and they are far less likely to bite than other blood-sucking members of the family and also some less threatening relatives that are much more likely to bite, like members of the genus
Zelus.  We have chosen to feature your submission as the Bug of the Month for October because of your awesome subject line and your dramatic letter, and because Halloween is this month and also because we got to mention blood-sucking.  However, we find your image a tad morose and though we will include the poor dead Wheel Bug in a Plastic Bag on Friday image, we suspect it was alive when you encountered it and we consider that Unnecessary Carnage.  We are taking the opportunity to post once again, originally posted in 2007, our favorite image of a live Wheel Bug which many folks write to us calling a Dinosaur Bug or Stegosaurus Bug.

Wheel Bug in a Bag

The mechanics kept it alive and only temporarily put it in the bag as proof they got it out.
Thank you for informing me of its stinging bite, I stayed up all night researching it and closed mouth crying.
Best,

Hello again Terrified.
Thanks for letting us know.  We will remove the Unnecessary Carnage tag.  You have some pretty thorough mechanics for them to have gathered the evidence of the extenuating circumstances that led to your unfortunate accident.

Subject:  Unidentified bug
Geographic location of the bug:  China, Hong Kong, Tseung Kwan O Village
Date: 09/29/2021
Time: 07:17 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have this huge bug, or maybe two bugs with sixteen legs in all on top of each other, rising and falling. I don’t know if the strands are cocoon silk or legs. The top has bristly hair, dark grey.
How you want your letter signed:  Unidentified bug

Thing

We have no idea what this thing is, but it is not an insect.  We somehow suspect humans were involved in the creation of this thing.  Perhaps our readers will be willing to speculate on its identity, and perhaps someone with some knowledge about this thing will write in with information.  Is this thing on the wall, on the ceiling, on steps or on the floor?  The location in your image is quite ambiguous.

Subject:  Strange Bug in Malaysia
Geographic location of the bug:  Malaysia
Date: 09/30/2021
Time: 05:25 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi – friend of mine sent a video of this strange creature – suspect it’s 2 one of top of the other – but we can’t ID it
How you want your letter signed:  Kate Adkins

Dear Kate,
You are the second person to send us this image.  The first submission claims the creature was in China, Hong Kong, Tseung Kwan O Village.  We suspect this is a new internet hoax.

Subject:  2 wasps nesting on motorbike fork
Geographic location of the bug:  Taipei City, Taiwan
Date: 08/29/2021
Time: 12:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This afternoon I found these 2 guys nesting off the lower end of the fork of my motorbike that I had had covered and not ridden for a couple of months. Over the past 3 days I rode the bike several times, including once after I had discovered them. They seemed unfazed by the 50 kmph speeds, winds, vibration, etc., never letting go of the nest or taking flight, although they moved about on the nest.
My questions:
1. What type of wasp/hornet is it?
2. Can I just cut the rope-like thing that it hangs off and then run? Would they attack me/give chase? How long would they stay around the nest, and irritated?
I wouldn’t like to endanger their lives nor my own.
How you want your letter signed:  Tauno

Paper Wasps nesting on motorbike

Dear Tauno,
We love, love, love your letter and we are making your nesting Paper Wasps the Bug of the Month for September 2021. We have even posted a submission in 2014 of Paper Wasps in Taiwan.  Paper Wasps in the genus
Polistes are found in many parts of the world.  They are social wasps and according to the North American site BugGuide:  “Mature colonies have up to 30 adults.”  If you cut the nest, with only two Paper Wasps, one the queen, protecting the next, we doubt you will be stung, but we can assure you the Paper Wasps will abandon the nest.  The queen may attempt to build a new nest.  We can’t believe you rode the motorbike at 50kmph and they stayed with you and the nest.

Paper Wasps nesting on Motorbike

UPDATE:  September 2, 2021
Dear Bugman,
I am deeply grateful for your answer and, on behalf of the biker wasps, overwhelmed by the honor of being featured on your website.
An update:Your prediction was absolutely correct: the wasps abandoned the nest. I parked my bike, this time in a more open area and without covering it; on the first night at least one of these guys was still there, dozing off, but by the evening of the next day they were nowhere to be seen. For all the lack of privacy, I’d probably have moved, too.
I waited until the next afternoon and then mustered up the courage to pluck off the (really a beginning of a) nest with bare fingers, kind of expecting to see an empty shell (wouldn’t you finish building your home first and only then move your family in?), but to my surprise a little beady face was staring at me from almost each of the compartments (see the pic), some apparently trying to wiggle me to bring them high tea. Thinking the actual family might come back for them I took the whole bundle to the park across the alley and left it under a bush.
From your email it seems that this will probably not happen- so that was a bittersweet goodbye- but I can now say I’ve met a real queen.
Hope they’ll find a place for a more peaceful home soon.
Thank you!

Paper Wasp Nest

Thank you for the wonderful update Tauno.  Regarding moving the family in before the home is finished:  The queen constructed the beginning of the nest and she produced her first generation of workers, and by your account, there were only a few.  For that first generation, the queen also had to do all the hunting.  Once she had several workers, she began producing her second generation of workers and there were more helpers so it can be a bigger brood.

Date: 03/30/2021
Time: 09:39 PM EDT
Subject:  Beautiful Butterfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Dear Bugman, I am hoping you can help me identify this butterfly based on the body shape and wing markings. It was located indoors during the very early spring.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

A lovely butterfly

Dear Melanie,
More than most readers, you know that the past year has been very difficult for Daniel, and with the pandemic, the trauma of teaching online, and a multitude of life changes, your frequent communications have been a great source of comfort for Daniel as he contemplates life changes.  The butterfly has long been a symbol of transition for many people, and hopefully we will all be able to emerge from a long period of isolation, much like the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis after having transformed from a nearly unrecognizable caterpillar.  Your butterfly is a fantasy creature, and the peace signs on the wings are a beacon of hope for the future.  Though a fantasy creature, those stunning wings most closely resemble a Brush-footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, and as a resident of Southern California, in our opinion it most closely resembles a Red Admiral, a lovely butterfly that is currently enjoying the warm spring days in Daniel’s own garden.  The are most often seen sunning themselves in the morning and late afternoon so their dark wings absorb the heat of the sun.  Also, Daniel has to come clean and admit he is also Constant Gardener.

Red Admiral