Category: scary

Northern Mole Cricket, Neocurtilla hexadactyla.   If, in the fall, you hear a frog calling, it probably isn’t.  It probably is this thunderous gladiator of a cricket.  It does like the edge of wetlands, and makes little sound chambers in the ground from where it broadcasts its love calls.  Find their calls on the web, very froggy.  Found by Liz Humes in wetland areas along transmission lines on Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.  I think this would make a good tattoo for a ditch digger.    

Great Basin National Park.  Still processing photos from our big survey of bees of U.S. parks.   In this case, there was a lovely mutillid wasp, (velvet ant) in the sample.  Oddly the female’s hair color shifted between the shots….Not clear why

Wicked Wasp Week #13. If you ever visit Guantanamo Bay (full of all sorts of lovely dry scrub with cacti taller than a house!) you might turn a corner and meet Hoplisoides xerophilus, I hope you are ready.

Wicked Wasp Week #12. Think you are save in National Parks? No way. This brooding wasp come from Cape Cod National Seashore where it plots attacks on … grubs.

Wicked Wasp Week #10. Slowly it reaches over your bed, blood dripping from its teeth (technically: mandibles)… you, frozen in place, scream silently as the hot minty breath of the the world’s largest spider wasp wakens you from your dream of becoming a phlebotomist to the stars!!!!!!!!!!!

Wicked Wasp Week #9.  Red as the devil, fame and fortune are nothing to this wasp, its sole mission is to hunt soft bodied creatures, pulp them, and feed them to it young.  Leave you babies inside!  Polistes metricus, female, Beltsville, Maryland

Wicked Wasp Week #8.  

Looking unsettled, slightly sprung in the mind, angry at the world and ready to raid a nearby village…Polistes exclamans, female, Beltsville, Maryland, Head.  A social wasp queen from early spring 2013.

Wicked Wasp Week #7.  I believe this to be a wasp in the Genus Ectemnius, but I don’t know for sure as I just am not a wasp expert.  This one was collected in the Neck District of Talbot County Maryland a few weeks ago.  Photo by Wayne Boo.

Wicked Wasp Week #6. Zanysson – A crabronid wasp. Most of the stinging wasps are fairly badass in aspect, to use a technical term. This one certainly is worthy of a tattoo on someone’s chest and was collected by Merle Shepherd from Spring Island along the coast of South Carolina. The group as a whole are cleptoparasites of other Crabronid wasps.

Wicked Wasp Week #3

Yes! More mutillids (velvet ants) here is a male from Maryland right outside the Nation’s Capital. Beware! Lock your doors at night….. Feel free to download and modify on our Flickr site