Last Friday I went on a nature hike to take some pictures of whatever we could find. It turned into more of an insect hike and the macro lens was in full effect!
We found this wasp flying around the parking lot. We took tons of pictures while several people were fishing near by. I’m pretty sure they thought we were nuts, but it was worth it!
I thought I knew what kind of wasp this was at first glance but then began to think I was wrong. After consulting a friend who is an expert in Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, etc.) (yes I have a friend like that). This is what he had to say…
The wasp on the leaf is Pelecinus polyturator. This is an easy one because it's the only member of this family (Pelecinidae) in the U.S. The females have thos really long stinger looking projections to inject eggs into may beetle larvae in the soil. They can't sting with it, but it looks bad ass.
Bad ass indeed.
Other than bad ass wasps we also found other critters. This is a Tiger Swallow Tail Butterfly. These large butterflies only start showing up as adults this time of year. Again they spend much of their existence in the caterpillar form, just like the Cecropia Moth from yesterday. Here is another example of how not to get eaten by a bird. The Cecropia caterpillars had bright colors and spikes all over. This is a Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar and it announces to everyone that it is toxic with bright colors. If the colors don't deter a predator both ends of this caterpillar look like a head to hopefully confuse the attacker. This next picture is one I have been trying to get but have been unable to get due to lack of proper lens. Now that my macro lens is in the house I got the shot! There is a fungus among us! Like this mushroom I am a Fun Guy!! Up Next: Dragons and Damsels!!