[Taxacom] Mystery photo

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Oct 26 17:50:51 CDT 2012


It is most amusing that everyone seems to see their own favourite type of insect in the photo!


From: "Quicke, Donald L J" <d.quicke at imperial.ac.uk>
To: Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>; "TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU" <TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU> 
Sent: Saturday, 27 October 2012 7:21 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Mystery photo

i still think it is a braconid wasp, about 5-10 mm long

________________________________________
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] on behalf of Doug Yanega [dyanega at ucr.edu]
Sent: 26 October 2012 18:10
To: TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Mystery photo

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?

Peace,
--

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)
              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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