Found today while gathering acorns (swamp white oak). How adorable is this? I love her little feet, and the way she pivots around her proboscis, fascinated by how far her head rotates… Curculio sp. (if anyone can ID to species, please add!)
Day 5 of #DansFavs2022: Genus Olixon (represented by species melinsula & banksii here), a strange group of speedy, fairy-winged, rarely-seen parasitoid wasps which I managed to find in significant numbers (~30 sightings, 19 collected alive). Still can't get over the goofy wings!
I also managed to do something which had never been done before with these wasps, but I can't say more right now. Well, actually two things. I don't think anyone's photographed them having weird wasp sex either (last pic), but the other thing is much more exciting!
time lapse of a banded sphinx moth caterpillar (Eumorpha fasciatus) devouring a water primrose leaf
E. fasciatus caterpillars are heavily polymorphic and come in several different color morphs- those stripy rainbow ones are from the same population as the green one.
another neat thing about these guys is that most caterpillars drown easily, but since water primrose (Ludwigia) usually grows in standing water, E. fasciatus caterpillars have a propensity for swimming and are often seen wriggling their way through lakes when they need to come ashore to pupate.
By far the most common #Coelioxys in most places of Eastern U.S. (C. sayi) That sharp end pierces the wall of Megachile nests so that its egg can be inserted to later emerge, slay the host's larva, and then eat up the pollen and nectar.