Answer to the Monday Night Mystery



The correct answers to Monday’s puzzle– at least, as best as one can infer from the published research on insect phylogeny- were the thrips (E), and the antlion (H). Note that my sketch was not a complete phylogeny of all the orders. Many, like Strepsiptera and Mecoptera, were omitted for brevity, so the challenge had more possible answers beyond the lettered ones I offered.

Five points each go to Ted McRae and to Miles, for being the first to pick the thrips and the antlion, respectively.

2 thoughts on “Answer to the Monday Night Mystery”

  1. The beetle one was tricky – I didn’t Strepsiptera or Mecoptera, and instead of going further back in the phylogeny I convinced myself the larva had to be a female strepsipteran (having never seen more than just a small protruding portion of one). Fun quiz!

  2. This was indeed a fun quiz. Would love another.
    Great antlion picture (of course), and this pushes a button for me so I hope you do not mind the story. Years ago I came across a nice concentration of these little beauties, and had fun collecting them and setting them up in little 2 oz serving cups with sifted sand. They each dug their pits in their cup, and I fed them fruit flies.
    From an aesthetic standpoint, I had come to consider antlions to be one of the harshest looking insects when seen up close in a dissecting microscope. Every tiny detail down to the fine texture of their cuticle seems designed by a horror film artist. Of course such things hold a fascination and also a kind of beauty. I later discovered that their pupae were also very striking, but in a way that was decidedly beautiful. I opened up one of their cocoons in the sand, and was confronted by an iridescent gold creature from pulp science fiction, with bulging compound eyes and long, sharp mandibles.
    That would be a another good picture!

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