Category: Wasps and Kin
Category: Wasps and Kin
It may look like a furry and colorful ant, but watch out, the this velvet ant-like creature belongs to the Mutillidae family, which makes it wasp. Though females in this family lacks wings, you don't want to get on their bad side, they've earned their name for having a sting so painful, it has been exaggeratedly described as powerful enough to kill a cow, earning them the name: Cow Killer Ants. Female Cow Killers are very distinct, with furry bodies, an elongated thorax, and a bright orange or red color. Males are very different, lacking a stinger, but equipped with wings, and featuring a very different body shape (See below).
So you may have noticed something a bit different, the Sholesonian tag for this nice butterfly specimen is A006 so what in the world does that mean? Well, I'm currently in Arkansas working on a research project investigating the geology of Venus and I unfortunately wasn't able to bring all my museum equipment (including the record book for insects) so all non-geology/fossil posts will have a unique Arkansas tag. And now that we are back up and running here is a beautiful swallowtail specimen collected outside the Fantastic Caverns of Springfield, Missouri with a new Sholesonian researcher Eddie Brooks:
So I know I like to space out the collections but I looked and realized that out of all the Natural History pieces I've put up so far, only 3, they have all been vialed spiders. So to diversify the posts I decided today would be a good day to post up one of the pinned insects from the collection. And to start off I present you all with one of my favorite pinned pieces. So if you haven't been able to tell yet, this guy is a dragonfly and I am going to temporarily identify him as a Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans).
So yesterday I stumbled upon an insect preparation file online which eventually lead me to be able to correctly identify what one of the 'unknown insects' in the collection is. It would be NH 056, which when I first found it on the floor of my room on October 26, 2020 at 11:00am. I had absolutely no idea what it was but quickly captured it, labeled it, and tentatively identified it as the larva form of some other insect. But as it turns out, it actually belongs to a completely different order, Thysanura which contains bristletails. You can easily tell from the three long filaments on the back of the insect. This one happens to be a Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina).
Category: True Bugs
Today's insect comes from the Pentatomidae family, and you may know it by its common name: the stinkbug. This particular specimen is a Brown Marmorated Stinkbug and was collected inside Baker Tower, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA on the 15th of October 2010 around 6:00pm. The Marmorated Stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys), has a brownish camouflage-like color but when placed into the alcohol its wings opened up and the liquid diluted the color a bit to reveal some yellow striped patterns underneath.
Sorry guys, but I'm not going to be able to post a spider today and there hasn't been any the past few weeks due to the holidays. But to make up for it I'm posting the newest addition to the Sholesonian which I actually just got today. Now it's not a spider, rather it belongs to the order Phasmatodea which also includes the very cool walking sticks. This particular species is Phyllium pulchrifolium (which if I understand my Latin the species name means beautiful foliage) though according to Wikipedia the species is also known as Phyllium bioculatum, but for now I'm sticking with the
P. pulchrifolium classification.
Category: Bees and Kin
I again apologize for the lack of updates but it's been busy. Seeing as today is Saturday and I haven't adhered to Spider Saturday in awhile I thought I should dig up a spider, however I'm still a bit wary on the identification of the remaining few specimens and I thus hesitate to post them yet. Hopefully over the summer I will be collecting many more specimens, but since I'm not posting a spider I'm going to just go with something from Natural History.
Box Elder Bugs
Category: True Bugs
Details: 3 specimens
Originally these three guys each had their own Sholesonian ID number, but seeing as they are all from the exact same location and of the same species it is of the best interest to place them all under the same ID. These guys are known as Box Elder (or rather Boxelder) Bugs and their species name isBoisea trivittata. They are also known as the Zug or Maple Bug. What is funny is that they all were found between two pieces of cardboard boxes along with a ton more of them. I grabbed these three (which weren't squished) on November 15, 2010. Their location is a bit more cryptic; they were collected at the Ithaca Hospital in Ithaca, NY however they came off of a U-Haul truck that was moving equipment from another locale on the other side of Ithaca.
And after a week long break from posting, the Sholesonian is back up with one of the very first insect specimens collected. This praying mantis, formally known as the European Mantis (Mantis religiosa) is very common across North-Eastern United States. Originating from Europe and North Africa it was introduced to the United States back in 1899 on a shipment of plants and has since exploded in population, so much so that it is now the state insect of Connecticut. Also, I'm sure you're all familiar that these guys are known as praying mantids due to their 'praying' form with their forelegs.
Category: True Bugs
So, apologies for not having the new photo system up for this picture and for neglecting to post anything up in awhile. The former is because over time the insect has lost its green coloring and is now more black than it was after first being captured. This guy is actually a bug (as not all insects are bugs but all bugs are insects), and I don't actually know where it came from. Cornell University's Entomology department every year throws Insectapalooza and they happened to have an aphid exhibit. This particular guy was one of the hundreds that they have that managed to escape the net and I subsequently caught it. So I don't know if it was a local species or came from somewhere else for study here, but probably the former.
The Sholesonian is an online museum databasing all the unique, scientific, and interesting things I've found over the years. Every week I'll be posting up at least one new item to the collection along with a little tidbit on what it is. Enjoy!