Friday, September 21, 2012

the little wasp that wasn't

On 19 Sept. 2012, in a recently acquired cooler of unknown origin, a wasp was noticed. It was on its back in this open cooler that was sitting next to our front door. Noticing that it was kicking, I picked it up for further investigation.

But wait...

Indeed. That's no wasp.

Meet an absolutely mind-boggling group of diverse moths that make your head spin with their sheer variety of colors and patterns and... haul in the technical experts.
A sesiid, Zenodoxus rubens. They can be abundant around pheromones in late afternoon.

Charles Bordelon, VP/EIC
Texas Lepidoptera Survey

Here's a slightly better mug of the beast:

This tiny neighbor of ours is a southern creature, ranging about as far north as I ever would, given winter temperatures... and I certainly wouldn't want to brave a panhandle winter.

Map via Moth Photographers Group.

Those greenish flecks on the wings remind me a bit of Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus).

Certainly makes me wish I'd stopped to check every wasp I've seen all summer. Those copper wings, tipped in black - what a handsome combination of colors. The black thorax is not where scales have been knocked off, that's actually part of the pattern. Nature has such incredible little bundles of art... and some of them are just trying to look like they have a bite bigger than their visual bark.

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