Not quite as innocent as it looks

Two of my friends David and Laura Hughes found a cool insect at the Great Caterpillar Expedition in Adams County at the Eullett Center near West Union, Ohio. Take a look below at this insect. I bet your first guess would be this is a walking stick.

Thread-legged assisn bug-6135However looks can be deceiving and deadly. Let’s zoom in and take a closer look at the head

Head of thread legged assasin bug-6137

 

Hmm that’s a proboscis, this isn’t a walking stick! This is a thread legged assassin bug! This is a predator and a true wolf in sheep’s clothing. These insects capture prey like a praying mantis using their forearms. Then they pierce and paralyze their prey with that proboscis. Then the inject special saliva that they use to dissolve and slurp up their prey.  Just for comparison here is a walking stick. If you notice the walking stick is a little sturdier built and lacks the piercing mouth parts.

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Bumble Flower Beetle (Euphoria inda)

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Came across a bunch of these Bumble Flower Beetles  (Euphoria inda) in Shawnee State Forest in Scioto County, Ohio. When I first saw these flying I indeed thought they were bumble bees. They were flying low over dead leaves in roadside ditches. These were quite difficult to photograph as they would land and quickly go under leaves. After much stalking I finally managed to capture this image of one. These beetles are in the family Scarabaeidae and are related to June and May beetles that we see around our lights in the spring and summer.  The adults emerge in the fall and over winter coming out in the spring to lay eggs in dead organic matter. In researching these I also learned that unlike most beetles these beetles do not open their elytra (wing covers) when flying. This causes them to make a very bumble bee like buzzing noise as they fly.

 

How about a bug for a change?

I’m still alive and this site is still averaging several thousand attempted logins every week. It makes it very hard to leave the site up and available to update. I am thinking of going to a straight html site. Anyway here is a nifty bug picture. I took this at Mothapalooza 2014 it is a mantisfly. They have an absolutely bizarre life cycle. Eric Eaton has a post here describing why these are uncommon. Jim McCormac has another post on these interesting insects on his blog . My humble attempt is here, this one was on a picnic table near the dam at Burr Oak Lake State Park. it stayed for quite some time and many photographs were taken of this unusual looking insect.

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Is this site dead?

Is this site dead? Kind of, the efforts to stay ahead of the hackers and spammers became to much of a headache. Even with logins, posting, and comments disable I still get several thousand attempts a day to log into this site. If is unfortunate and I am trying to decide what to do with the site.

Hide beetle taking flight

Anyone still reading these? I am trying to figure out what to do with this site, the hacking attempts on this site haven’t decreased much. I continue to keep it locked down, but I don’t believe I am going to be able to keep it as a WordPress site much longer if I am going to keep it around. Well anyway how about a bug for a change of pace ? In the past year I have become much more interested in beetles. I found this Hide Beetle in the yard and brought it into a white box for photography. A white box is simply a box lined with white paper, a flash is either placed into the box or in my case inserted through a hole in the top of the box. This allows you to isolate something onto a white background. I was trying to highlight the structure of the wings and how the elytra open to allow the wings to deploy for flight. Hide_Beetle Trogidae-5906Just below is an image of the beetle with its wings all Hide_Beetle Trogidae-5884tucked in. Click through for a better image. I put up low resolution images to left.