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Identification Challenge #3 Reveal : Nature Closeups

Identification Challenge #3 Reveal

November 5th, 2010 - 1:11 PM | Filed under Identification Challenges | No comments

Chris Grinter agrees with me that this photo is of a sawfly in the genus Dimorphopteryx.

June 6, 2010 | Twelvestones, Roswell, GA, USA

I first saw some photos of similar sawflies in this book:

Insects:
Their Natural History and Diversity

by Stephen A. Marshall

I then found some images on BugGuide.

It really is an odd looking critter. If I’d instead shown this view, it would have been more obvious, I think, that it’s a sawfly.

Side view

Here you can see the horns just behind the head.

Closeup of head

Marshall reports that the “tubercle behind the head is eversible, and sticks out like a snake’s tongue when the insect is disturbed.” Cool. I wish I’d known that when I encountered it. I would have tried to coax it into displaying that behavior.

I’ll certainly be on the lookout for these in the future. Since this is the first one I’ve ever seen, I don’t anticipate finding another one anytime soon.

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