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bald beast

a hornet standing on concrete. most of the appendages are labeled.
by silas, 2024/02/27

at first glance, i believed that i was looking at a photo of a spider. the separation between the head and the thorax is not immediately obvious here, and the angle of the wings and antennae tricked me into counting extra legs. however, after a careful inspection of each visible appendage, i conclude that this is no arachnid. this bug is none other than...

Dolichovespula maculata, the bald-faced wasp!
(bald being short for “piebald”, not referring to hair loss)

these are social wasps that form colonies made up of hundreds of workers and build giant paper nests. how did this wasp end up here, all alone on the hard concrete which offers neither food nor friendship? is she a pariah, exiled from wasp society for looking too much like a spider? or did she disguise herself as a spider just to get away from it all? is she lonely? perhaps, but it's more likely that her spiderlike appearance is a trick of the light and the concrete is merely a pit stop on her way home.

bug.nekoweb.org's very first submission: the elegant threadwing

a net-winged insect standing on black demin.
by dogboa2, 2024/02/26

wow!!!!! what a beautiful bug — thank you dogboa2! this is an adult neuropteran or “net-winged insect”, likely from the subfamily crocinae. i'm not sure what the two long streamers behind the wings are for. possibily stability? i can't help but wonder if those long threads make them more easily caught by hungry birds... but there's no danger here! this bug is indoors and (presumably) safe from flying predators at the time this photo was taken. the bug is well lit, allowing the delicate details of the antennae and the wing veins to be appreciated. the green color of the bug's eyes match the color of the walls in the room (and go nicely with the colors of this site's layout! heheh). overall, a wonderful photo.