Monday Night Mystery: What’s That Fuzz?

Tonight’s entomological mystery is a close crop from the deserts of Arizona:

Ten points to the first person to guess the species. Supporting characters must be given for full credit.

The cumulative points winner for the month of February will win their choice of 1) any 8×10-sized print from my photo galleries, or 2) a guest post here on Myrmecos.

Good luck!

12 thoughts on “Monday Night Mystery: What’s That Fuzz?”

  1. Dasymutilla gloriosa, the thistledown velvet ant? Obviously because it’s white and furry. And it looks like you got the thorax and the waist, which suggests at least Hymenoptera.

  2. I guess I forgot to add: D. thetis is more reddish underneath its fur and has shorter hairs, especially along the junction between the mesosoma and the gaster.

  3. Dasymutilla nocturna is my guess and although some of these are tough to see, these characters would set nocturna apart: the erect hairs are relatively dense and even, the body appears black, and the legs appear darker. I’ll mine some points here too: it is a female, as wings are lacking.

  4. I think JasonC has this one with D. gloriosa, if it was from California I would have said D. sackenii but I dont believe those range into AZ.

    If only I wasnt late, I finally knew one…

  5. By the way, I’ve always thought these look more like the hairy fruits of creosote bush than like thistle down, but bugguide calls them thistledown velvet ants. Even their gait is reminiscent of a Larrea fruit being blown across the ground.

  6. Pingback: Answer to the Monday Night Fuzzball – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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