Jan 17th – Weekly progress

Hi all!

Last week we sorted and pinned two kits: the kit by M. Freeland ( Tuscarawas County) and A. Kuflewski (Lawrence County). We are over 9,750 bees pinned!

I also started identifying some bees, and successfully identified 250 bees to at least genus. Once I start spending more time identifying bees, I will share more bee ID related things here. But for now, I will focus on the bycatch.


Looks like poo, right? Well, you aren’t wrong, but there is more than meets the eye. Rice for scale.

This is poo, but instead of a little mouse pellet, this is actually a specially made poop suit that protects the tiny beetle larvae inside. This view, you can see the larvae sticking out the top of the fecal case. This is a leaf beetle larvae in the kit by Kuflewski. To learn more about case bearing leaf beetles and their weird camouflage and protection strategies, see: https://bugguide.net/node/view/13739

Kuflewski also had an Acorn ant. These aptly named ants can have an entire colony living in an acorn. Alex Wild has some really cool photos of acorn ants living in their acorn here: https://www.alexanderwild.com/Ants/Taxonomic-List-of-Ant-Genera/Temnothorax/

Although this makes a really convincing wasp mimic, this is actually a hoverfly! Note the shape of the antennae, the wing venation, and the halteres for why this is a fly and not an actual wasp. This is a particularly weird type of hoverfly, which has only 5 observations on iNaturalist. Because it is so uncommon, there is not that much known about the biology of this particular genus.

Another weird fly is this wood soldier fly. The halteres are much more visible and the wings are clearer, so you can more easily see the details.

Guess that body part:

Who knows what body part this is? This is a really zoomed in view of a larger structure. Bonus points if you can get 1) Order, 2) Genus, or 3) Species.

Covid news:
Nothing much new to say compared to last week, but I did hear that OSU Newark is going to becomeĀ  a vaccination site starting this week. It will be interesting to see how that develops. There is promising news that the two major suppliers (Pfizer and Moderna) expect to have produced enough doses to vaccinate 70% of adults in the US by the end of July. This also does not account for any additional companies that might be able to get their vaccine approved in the next few months.

Bee Resources:
The other OSU has a cool series of bee videos as well, so if you are looking for more bee content to watch, see: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/bee-atlas/wild-world-bees

Other Events:

The Ohio Lepidopterists (aka the butterfly people) have an annual meeting Saturday, January 23 at 2 PM. It will be all digital due to covid, but they are having Sam Jaffe from The Caterpillar Lab speak. See more information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/887201068693056/

That is all for now,

MaLisa Spring

4 thoughts on “Jan 17th – Weekly progress

  1. Thanks for post….I had to look up what a haltere was, found a youtube video of halteres in action…..fascinating!

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