Archive for September 2022

Wasp at home   Leave a comment

They were identified as Habrobracon, compare with Parasitoids of meal moths, and yes, we just went through an infestation of meal moths inside our house. It’s truly amazing that they were able to detect this infestation and are now everywhere in our house.

Here’s an interesting tidbit from Wikipedia about Habrobracon wasps:

Habrobracon hebetor is remarkably resistant to radiation. While LD100 is estimated around 1000 rads for humans,[8] and 56,128 rads (64,000 roentgens) for the fruit flyDrosophila melanogaster,[9] a study showed that H. hebetor survived X-ray radiations of 158,080 rads (180,250 R). In this study, irradiated groups even had an increased life span compared to non-irradiated control groups, an effect attributed to the lack of activity of irradiated individuals.[10][11]

Posted 2022-09-27 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Canoe River, Borderland State Park   2 comments


Perhaps Eristalis cf dimidiata?

With wing venation:

Probably Sarcophagidae, perhaps Sarcophaga

This fly was utterly amazing. Just look at the plumage. I think he was showing off; he was sitting in the middle of the leaf, strutting around, waving his hands. Relatively not deterred by the camera.

It’s Physiphora alceae, apparently an import from Africa. It’s in Ulidiidae, and this certainly does not look like a typical Ulidiid!

Closeup of the eyes:

These flies were everywhere (saw at least ten of them). Their behavior was also very un-fly-like, perhaps for mating? All of them were sitting on rocks close to the ground, in the open, and did not move at all when confronted with the camera.

If I were forced to guess, I’d say Anthomyiidae, but with very little confidence. We need central places where we can look at wing venations and find out family it is!

This one looked the same, also close to the ground, but on leaf debris rather than a rock. Perhaps ovipositing.

I don’t know if this one is the same species or not:


Halictids always put on a show. These all seem to be Augochlora pura, but there were some Agopostemon too.

Pompilidae, Anoplius. Tough to go any further.

A small wasp, perhaps 2-3 mm long. I think this is Braconidae. You can see the wing venation in the first photo and it seems to be a reasonable but not perfect match for Braconidae. The (RS + M)a vein is present, so there’s no “horsehead” pattern. The 2nd recurrent vein is absent. On the other hand, I don’t really see a r-m vein; and the number of antennomeres seems to be about 15, which may or may not be too low for Braconidae.

I would like to point out that the second photo was taken at full magnification (with the Raynox DCR-250 on the 100mm macro lens, at closest focus), and that damn wasp would not stop moving. I’m sharing it as a minor miracle that it’s even close to in focus.

EDIT: Braconidae seems correct, perhaps Microgastrinae to narrow it down further.


This seems to be Melanoplus bivittatus:


Rove beetle, Staphylinidae. Here’s a guess: Tachinus picipes, compare with

Closeup of the claspers:


Looks like the Chinese mantid, Tenodera sinensis (note the vertical stripes on the face).


This was at home, doing us all a favor by catching whatever she could. Eustala.

No exoskeletons

Posted 2022-09-18 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized