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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)

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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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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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 

Fabricius Angel - Chorinea octauius

Like the other seven species in the genus, Chorinea octauius (Riodinidae) has transparent wings marked with black veins. In all species the thorax is virtually devoid of “hair” and the palpi are extremely short. All Chorinea species have the same basic wing pattern but vary in the configuration and extent of the red markings on the hindwings.

This is a rainforest species found at altitudes between about 100-1000m, usually in the vicinity of streams. Chorinea octauius is found in Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Kim Garwood | Locality: Peru (2015)

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Libelloides macaronius

…is a species of Ascalaphine (Split-eyed) owlfly which occurs throughout parts of Europe and Asia. Like other owlflies L. macaronius is an insectivore and will feed on a variety of flying insects. L. macaronius larvae, on the other hand, are antlion-like ambush predators. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Neuroptera-Ascalaphidae-Libelloides-L. macaronius

Images: Sebaho and Srđan Mitić

Rutenalid beetle, Anoplognathus porosus.

This genus is commonly referred to as Christmas Beetles, and the family come in a variety of shiny and metallic colours.

Larvae live underground, where they will also pupate, the adults all emerging at the same time. In Australia this is midsummer, explaining their common name, where they can be extremely common in some areas.

They feed on eucalyptus.

This individual photographed on the Lyrebird Walk, near the Mount Granya summit, Mount Granya State Park, Victoria.

Glanycus coendersi 

If you like moths surely you’ll love this one, its scientific name is Glanycus coendersi (Thyrididae) and is a diurnal moth distributed in Southeast Asia. It is small but extraordinarily striking for its aposematic coloration.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Alexey Yakovlev (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Locality: Crocker Range National Park, Borneo (2009)

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Heniocha dyops

…is a species of Saturniid moth that is commonly known as the “Marbled Emperor”. Heniocha dyops typically occurs in Angola, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania. H. dyops larvae are typically associated with Acacia trees and have been reported feeding on ~7 different species. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Lepidoptera-Saturniidae-Heniocha-H. dyops

Image: Charlesjsharp