Do you remember I found these cocoons on the grasslands last week? I left half of them in the prairie.
They were tiny and bright yellow!
Well, they hatched!
They opened each cocoon with this perfect round lid.
Here’s what they looked like. There were about 2-3mm long not including legs or antenna. Amazing how critters fit inside their cocoons!
The antenna was attached between their eyes. It is important to look at all the details.
I counted 17 segments on its antenna!
The venation on the wings help me narrow where they belonged in the Hymenoptera order. I knew they were in this order because they had 4 wings. I then narrowed it down to the Braconidae family. So they are Braconid Wasps. I only sacrificed two. The other dozen were released to go about their important business. The family is large with over 1900 North American species (source: The Study of Insects by Triplehorn and Johnson). The order of Hymenoptera are both predators and parasites and include sawflies, parasitic wasps, ants, wasps and bees.
Always fun to see the Canada Geese flyover. This morning they were going from the northeast to the southwest. I think these must hang out nearby all the time now.
FOS Chickweed Geometer moth (Haematopis grataria)!
Someone had a good meal. This scat shows why insects are so important!
The Stemless Evening Primroses (Oenothera triloba) must have liked the rain!
There were all over the lawns in Decatur!
This one was at my house. By afternoon they are closed up for the day.
So we began with yellow and ended this post with yellow. Nature is amazing so protect it!