Subject:  A Different Kind of Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Lexington, Massachusetts USA
Date: 10/14/2019
Time: 03:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I spotted this unique guy while walking my dog this morning.  Could you please identify him for us?
Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely, Tracey Hynes

Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Tracey,
We identified this Hornworm from the family Sphingidae as the Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Hyles gallii, thanks to images on Sphingidae of the Americas.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Identify moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  DEERFIELD BEACH FLORIDA
Date: 10/14/2019
Time: 01:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  this moth? Is hanging from my back porch screen. We live on a canal close to Intercoastal waterway in south Florida
How you want your letter signed:  Vicki

Banded Sphinx

Dear Vicki,
Based on images and information on Sphingidae of the Americas, we are confident this is a Banded Sphinx.

Subject:  Dry husk stuck on rock
Geographic location of the bug:  San Luis Obispo, California
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 06:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman: I found this dry husklike thing on a rock in my front yard.  I pulled it off, but didn’t;t learn anything.  I know it was once either part of some living thing, or it contained or was shielding something living.  Please help!
How you want your letter signed:  Yours, Kathy O’Brien

Mantis Ootheca

Dear Kathy,
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis, and it does not look like it has hatched yet.  Mantids only live a single season, hatching when conditions are right in the late winter or early spring and they mature by autumn.  The female Mantis then lays one or more ootheca that will overwinter.  If you put this ootheca in a sheltered location, or try to attach it to a branch on a tree or shrub, it might still hatch this spring.  Daniel just realized there is no Bug of the Month posting for October 2019, as he neglected to create one at the beginning of the month, so this posting will be tagged as Bug of the Month.  Daniel noticed two native Mantis oothecae in the garden in the past week, so perhaps he will take some images and add to this posting.

California Mantis ootheca on native willow

Update October 15, 2019:  Two California Mantis Oothecae in the WTB? garden
When Daniel returned from work yesterday, he made a point of taking images of the two California Mantis oothecae he found over the weekend.  Though adult Mantids did not make may late season appearances in the garden, they were obviously hiding quite well as the two oothecae are far enough apart to evidence they were likely laid by two different females.

California Mantis ootheca on pine

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black and White hairy caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Guatemala
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 09:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found two of these large caterpillars on different avocado trees in a wet mountain area near San Pedro, Guatemala, do you know what they are called? 3″ soft hairy, don’t bit or sting.
How you want your letter signed:  Caroline

Unidentified Caterpillar

Dear Caroline,
We tried unsuccessfully to identify this distinctive Moth Caterpillar.  Some families we explored were Erebidae, Lasiocampidae and Apatelodidae.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more success with this identification.

Unidentified Caterpillar

Subject:  What is this insect?
Geographic location of the bug:  Christchurch New Zealand
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 08:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m unsure what this is, at first I thought it was a blowfly so I swatted it and then I noticed the yellow colouring on its back and was worried it may be a bee of some sort
How you want your letter signed:  Isaac Thomas

Three Lined Hover Fly

Dear Isaac,
This is a harmless Three Lined Hoverfly,
Helophilus seelandicus.  According to Landcare Research:  “Attracts attention because of its noisy flight.  Important pollinator of flowers.  Larvae are rat tailed maggots which live in liquid containing rotting plants or animals.”

Subject:  Varition of Morocco horned caterpillar color
Geographic location of the bug:  Closest to Erfoud, Morocco
Date: 10/08/2019
Time: 10:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello BugMan! I wanted to show you this variation in color of the (perhaps) Barbary Spurge? Hornworm.(OR tell me the exact ID; I see some with two dots!) We found these while riding camels in Erg Chebbi sand dunes on the vegetation shown. We gently tickled one and put him on a leaf to better photograph. Then we put him back on leaves. There were LOTS of them! They can make their way quite fast over the sand when looking for another bush! I took the photos on September 26, 2019. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Cynthia S.

Hornworm from genus Hyles.

Dear Cynthia,
This hornworm is definitely from the genus Hyles, but we cannot be certain of the species.  It does look most to us like the Barberry Spurge Hawkmoth caterpillar pictured on Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic.