It’s a small mimic!

Ever on the lookout for colourful insects I happened to spot this bug on a recent walk. As soon as it spotted me in return it hid under a leaf. And let’s just pretend that is the reason the focus is so bad. ;) It was big — about an inch long — and really timid.

broad headed bug nymph September 2014
broad headed bug nymph September 2014

At first I thought it was an enormous ant. But, I had recently poured over all kinds of ant photos hoping to identify who exactly decided to take up residence on the backyard path this summer. Not one of them looked anything like this. I had either stumbled upon a brand new species (hahaha) or I was completely mistaken. Thanks to bugguide I now know it is a fake ant! A forgery. No mandibles and a sucking mouthpart tell the real story: it is a true bug.

broad headed bug nymph

I was really excited to learn about the ant mimic and then the very next day I saw a completely different mimic. What is this, Nethack?

clear winged sphinx moth
bumblebee moth probably Hemaris diffinis

It looked like an enormous bee from a distance. And the chase was on because I happen to know identifying bumblebees is possible. But, when I saw it land I realized it was a moth! I had heard about these bee mimics before but I had never seen one in living colour. Let’s just pretend I was too excited once again to correctly focus. Actually, I was and then it flew away.


8 thoughts on “It’s a small mimic!

    1. =P I wasn’t happy with these photos at all but thx for the encouragement. It was so exciting to see them — especially the clearwing moth/


  1. What a lovely thing to say Debra. I do like your bugs. I’ m saving up for a macro lens so that I can hunt bugs too. I don’t think we have such weird and wonderful ones here though.


  2. You are really into your bugs aren’ t you.? You are getting some amazing shots of them. If they weren’t real photos, I’ d be thinking you are starting to make them up. They are getting ever more weird and wonderful.


  3. Those ant mimics are a bit intimidating – I’m glad they aren’t “real” ants. I’d hate to run across a hill of those while working in a garden bed. I think I’d take up knitting…

    I’d seen but never even gotten blurry photos of those bumblebee moths. They are speedy and shy – I’m impressed you got one in frame. Because of the way their “shoulders” are so much larger than their abs I nicknamed these “bodybuilders” which I never thought I’d ever get to share with anybody else who was similarly excited to see them. Yay!


    1. I was so thrilled when I saw that bodybuilder moth! (I love that name hahaha). I had no idea there lived here in Austin and just assumed they lived somewhere exotic for some reason so it was a real treat. =)


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