[Taxacom] Mystery photo

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Fri Oct 26 12:10:24 CDT 2012

I find it hard to accept that the insect in the photo is only 2 mm 
long, especially given that the orchid pollinium would therefore be 
less than 1/3rd of a millimeter. That seems unreasonably tiny. If 2 
mm is a genuine figure, then I could go with the ID of a male scale 
insect, but it does otherwise look like a small lepidopteran. Not 
sure that there are Arctiids that small in New Zealand, so I'd be 
inclined to think a tiny Zygaenid. On top of which, male scales have 
no mouthparts, so it's not like they could possibly be feeding in the 
flowers. What could possibly entice them into repeated floral visits 
that could effect pollination?


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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