Monday Night Mystery

The image below might be a tiger skin rug. But it is not a rug- it’s part of a living insect:

What is it?

Ten points to the first person to correctly guess the genus and species. Supporting character information must be provided to receive full credit.

The cumulative points winner for the month of June 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!

8 thoughts on “Monday Night Mystery”

  1. Hyalophora cecropia

    Velvet ants were almost to obvious, and after looking through a bunch on bugguide it was clear they don’t come in that color pattern. My next thought was a caterpillar but all the woolly ones don’t seem to have red spots on white. Moving over the Jumping Spiders I found a lot of potential but none of them had long enough hairs. So going back to caterpillars I found it would have to be big to have such developed fur like that. North America only has a few dozen species of giant silk and royal moths, it was a matter of finding the one that most resembled father christmas. I think this week’s mystery is a shot of the gaster.

      1. I originally had the words (abdomen?) like that at the end but I removed it out as I think at least Alex will know what I’m talking about. Now that I think of it I guess the lack of a waist segment might make abdomen the correct term. Though I really don’t know.

        1. James C. Trager

          Gaster is a strictly hymenopteran term, and now is used almost only in myrmecology, I think. Even this usage is being brought into question because of inconsistency of gastral composition caused by variable number of segments that comprise the waist. Gaster refers to the abdomen posterior to the first segment and waist segment(s). The first abdominal segment in ants, bees, wasps, etc. is modified to appear thoracic, and is called the propodeum. So it is more than the lack of a waist that makes the term gaster wrong for this moth or most other insects.

  2. Grubbing for points: The head of the moth is at the right of the picture (?) Aaaand it’s the ventral aspect of the moth we’re looking at?

  3. Pingback: Answer to the Monday Night Mystery: Cecropia Moth – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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