Hoplia coerulea

…is a strikingly colored species of melolonthine scarabaeid beetle which occurs throughout Southwest Europe, including France, Spain, and Switzerland. Only male Hoplia coerulea posses the iridescent sky blue coloration, females are a typical brownish color. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Scarabeidae-Melolonthinae-Hoplia-H. coerulea

Image: Fritz Geller-Grimm and Felix Grimm

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Nomia iridescens a Bee with colourful abdominal stripes 

This cool bee, scientifically named Nomia iridescens, belongs to the Halictidae Family, a cosmopolitan group commonly referred to as halictid bees and sweat bees.

Nomia iridescens is a conspicuously banded bee with amazing neon-green stripes, which occurs in southeast Asia (India, Borneo, Peninsular malaysia, Philippines).

Sweat bees, play a vital role in the pollination ecology of a region. By having  a wide range of adaptational capabilities, these inhabit all kind of ecological niches both in tropical and temperate regions. In number and kind these anthophilic insects (attracted to flowers) surpass all other bees and thus are mainly responsible for conserving the vegetation germplasm by pollinating a bewildering variety of wild and cultivated entomophilic flora.

References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]

Photo credit: ©Paul Bertner | Locality: Mt. Isarog National Park, Philippines (2014) | [Top] - [Middle] - [Bottom]

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Conura amoena

…is a species of Chalcidid wasp that is native to both North and South America, ranging from the United States to Argentina. Adult C. amoena will attack the pupae of Lepidoptera (Typically hairstreak butterflies Theclinae) and lay their eggs inside them. The butterfly pupae will then serve as the foodsource for C. amoena’s young.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Hymenoptera-Chalcioidea-Chalcididae-Chalcidinae-Conura-C. amoena

Image(s): ©Gayle and Jeanell Strickland 

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Blue Carpenter Bee - Xylocopa caerulea

Undoubtedly the Blue Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa caerulea (Hymenoptera - Apidae) is one of the most striking among the carpenter bees. It is a large bee, close to an inch in length, with a hairy blue thorax, black abdomen, and long black eyes.

These Asian bees are non-aggressive. They nest in wood, and are semi-solitary, it is that they don’t have hives like honey bees do, but sometimes several queens will share a common entry hole to their nest. Since carpenter bees nest in dead wood, they sometimes do damage to the leaves of old houses, and can be pests. However, they are important pollinators of both native and agricultural plants, which more than makes up for the occasional damage they do to already-rotten wood. Being large and strong bees, the flowers pollinated by these bees may have an especially strong architecture.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©folicallychalled | Locality: Cimahi, Jawa Barat, Indonesia (2013)

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Rabbit Bot Fly (Cuterebra buccata)

…a species of New World skin bot fly (Cuterebrinae) that is native to northeastern and eastern North America. Like other members of the genus Cuterebra C. buccata larvae are parasitic on rabbits (Typically Sylvilagus floridanus). C. buccata larvae are subcutaenous (under the skin) parasite and will typically bore into their hosts throat or flanks, once there they will feed on their hosts’s flesh. The larvae breaths inside its host by everting its anal spiracle out of the hole.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Diptera-Oestroidea-Oestridae-Cuterebrinae-Cuterebra-C. buccata

Images: ©Tam Stuart and ©Robert E. Barber

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Imperial Tortoise Beetle - Stolas imperialis

With only 6-12 mm in length, the Imperial Tortoise Beetle, Stolas imperialis (Coleoptera - Chrysomelidae), is truly astonishing by the intense blue color of its body and its elytral punctuation. This species, which is one of 181 that are grouped in the genus Stolas, is poorly known and only registered from Brazil.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Sergio Monteiro | Locality: Santa Catarina, Brazil (2014)

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Masked Devil, Cyclochila australasiae.

The ventral (underneath) view shows this cicadas amazing rostrum (its proboscis, mouthparts) which it uses to penetrate plant material to feed on its xylem.

The Masked Devil is thought to have a life cycle of seven years or more, most of that as a larvae underground, feeding on sap from tree roots. Large cicadas like the Masked Devil may survive as an adult for several months.

This individual (exhausted) photographed at the Heritage Rail Trestle Bridge, Mount Lawson state park, Victoria.

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Blue-rayed Metalmark - Lyropteryx apollonia

Lyropteryx apollonia (Riodinidae) is one of those butterflies that are equally striking whether they are seen from both the upperside (top photo) or the underside (bottom photo) of the wings.

In addition to its stunning look, these butterflies have a peculiar behavior. Males are occasionally seen visiting sewage seepages or urine-soaked ground. They drink using the “filter-feeding” method, whereby they imbibe almost continually, extracting salts from mineral-rich patches of ground, or from the edges of puddles. Periodically they squirt the demineralized water from their anus, curving their abdomen so as to aim the liquid at the ground beneath their feet. There it leaches more minerals from the ground, which are re-imbibed. This process is continuous and the butterflies often recycle the same fluid many times during a period of several minutes.

The Blue-rayed Metalmark is widely distributed throughout the tropical regions of South America including Colombia, western and southern Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Jeffrey Glassberg | Locality: Apuya, Napo, Ecuador (2013)] - [Bottom: ©Andrew Neild | Locality: Apuya track off the main road from Tena to Puyo, Ecuador (2013)]

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