I’ve been thinking about bugs lately. Specifically, bugs I’ve seen over the last few months that I thought were interesting, and have not yet shared online. They are too cool to let them go without a mention, so here goes:
Meet Brunner’s Mantis (Brunneria borealis) – at first glance I thought it was a species of Walking Stick (Order, Phasmida). Its legs are super-long, becoming almost invisible in the grass. When I began the adventure of identifying this insect, I knew this could not be a walking stick when I read that walking sticks do not have forelegs specialized for capturing prey. Here’s a closeup:
Bugguide.net is one of my go-to references for all creepy-crawlies, and these are no exception. Bugguide.net is asking for donations to keep the website running in good order. I’ve pitched in, and my donation was matched by other supporters matching dollar-for-dollar, up to $4100, through January 1, 2011.
Next up, a wasp with a really mean looking derriere:
This wasp caught my attention because it was waving its behind back and forth and brushing its wings with its hind legs. Apparently, the business end of this wasp earned it the the moniker, “horntail.” Females lay eggs in dead or dying trees with an even longer ovipositor, and the larvae take about 2 years to mature. 1
Finally, I have to share this picture of a dragonfly eating a large fly:
…I am simultaneously grossed-out, fascinated, and impressed. I think this is a Common Green Darner (Anax junius), chowing down on a horsefly (maybe).
- A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects, by Bastiaan M. Drees, Ph.D. and John A. Jackman, Ph.D. Copyright © 1998 by Gulf Publishing Company ↩