Monday Night Mystery: Yay!

Last Wednesday I took an unusually productive day trip to Sand Ridge State Forest in west-central Illinois. I recorded many entomological treasures, but I was especially happy to find this little gem:


To earn Myrmecos Points, be the first to answer the following questions:

1. What is it? (Genus and species, please. 4 points)
2. Why was I so happy to see it? (4 points)
3. What does this week’s mystery have in common with last week’s mystery? (2 points).

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

Good luck!

14 thoughts on “Monday Night Mystery: Yay!”

  1. Also, isn’t the desaturase family responsible for the use of fat layers for insulation/fuel? I doubt it’s the carotenoid protein, specifically, but it is probably a close relative.

    obviously, since they are threatened, that’s the joy of finding one.

  2. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, can i just go on record, as a Physical Chemist, to say how overcome with joy I am that I have actually figured one of these out and been ranked (I assume) as number 2?!
    You guys with your systematic names for insects… y’all are GOOOOD at it!

  3. It has the general shape of a monarch egg, but it’s very yellow. All the ones that I’ve looked at under a scope were white and pearlescent looking. Just out of obstinancy, I’m gonna say Pieris rapae.

  4. I’d say definitely an early-instar nymphal hemipteran, and considering it’s relation to last week’s quiz I’d say it’s the same species – Aphis nerii.

    Oh, that bigger thing right behind it is a monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) egg.

  5. James C. Trager

    Late as usual, but looking forward to the Sand Ridge blog. It’s a wonderfully wild and unusual place, especially for central Illinois.

    Ted’s reply made me COL (chuckle…).

  6. BTW I was thinking of your recent monarch posts when I was out on the road in W. Wisconsin yesterday. I drove 280 mi. between LaCrosse and EauClaire but did not see a single monarch. I have not seen a single one yet this year.

  7. Pingback: Answer to the Monday Mystery – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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