Long Island – part 3
(this post describes events which happened on June 1st)
And now for some cool insects that aren’t caterpillars!
These are still lepidopterans, though… I mean hymenopterans… I mean… well… what do you think they look like?
Here are some reasons why these are moths (in the family Sesiidae), and not wasps (please pardon the fact that they are copulating). This is just my personal run-down, I’m sure there are more exact ways of defining the differences. But if you are in the field and just get to glance at a wasp-like insect, these are some things to look for.
Heck, it took me a few minutes to realize they were not wasps or sawflies. Luckily they were so busy (hehe!) they did not care that I was photographing them.
Now how about a big pretty beetle. Everyone likes beetles, right? Especially when they’re shiny. And adorable.
I think this guy is Strategus antaeus, please alert me if I am incorrect. They are big and LOUD. One of the undergrads thought he heard a toad rustling in some leaves on the ground… he pounced only to find this beetle! We ended up finding one more on the trip. Like most scarab beetles they are bulky, clumsy, and have sharp claws.
And here is a pretty little membracid I got my hands on. I am tentatively identifying it as Smilia camelus (I put up a photo on bugguide.net, it’s been moved to that species page but is awaiting confirmation by an expert). I don’t know much else about the species, can’t find very much online. If anyone has any insights about this beautiful creature, please share!