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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats


Fooling Predators or Prey

Just for openers: pairs of mimicked and mimicker

Stinging Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus), Durham, 9/28/09.  Harmless Syrphid Fly (Sphiximorpha, subfamily Eristalinae), Durham, 10/24/05.  The big eyes and short antennae give it away. 


Male Yellow Jacket (Vespula vulgaris?), Durham, NC, 11/20/08.  Note the long, black antennae. Virginia Flower Fly (Milesia virginiensis, subfamily Eristalinae),  Johnston Mill, Orange County, NC, 7/1/06.   Note the flattened abdomen, a characteristic apparently peculiar to syrphid flies.  


Paper wasp (Polistes genus) on Pinkweed.  Durham, NC, 9/5/09 Grape Root Borer Moth (Vitacea polistiformis), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 5/1/09.  Its species name acknowledges this resemblance.  


Stinging Cowkiller (Dasymutilla occidentalis), scurrying madly along at the ground at Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 9/1/07.   It is a type of wasp that is part of the velvet ant family. Harmless checkered beetle (Enoclerus ichneumoneus), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 4/4/09.   Granted, this insect is never found in  the same environments as the Cowkiller and hardly moves.  It may be a coincidence that they look so similar, but as we'll see later, red and black are a winning combination.  


Bitter-tasting Male Monarch, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 8/2405.  This butterfly gets its taste from milkweed family alkaloids it consumes. Harmless Viceroy (Limenitis archippus), Durham, NC, 9/14/05.  The hind wing bands give it away.  


Copyright © 2010  Dorothy E. Pugh.  All rights reserved.