Lace balloons in the grass?

Sometimes when you are under Disaster Emergency Self-imposed I-refuse-to-get-coronavirus Quarantine, you get bored. I was wandering around the yard one day and got down on my knees to look at crane fly larvae. While I was there, I noticed these crazy lace balloons attached to the stems of Bur Clover (Medicago polymorpha).

It only took a second to spot the larvae, too.

I was fascinated watching the little larvae wiggle around in their lace balloons, but I couldn't tell if they were related to the egg stage or the cocoon stage. So I sent my field assistant (read: nephew) to bring my phone camera and collection supplies. I was able to open one of the lace balloons to see that it was a cocoon with a pupa inside.

But what ARE THEY? I suspected they were some kind of beetle (probably weevil based on the "snout" of the pupa,) but there were several species in the grass that day, so I collected a few cocoons to see what emerged.

And here it is... the Alfalfa Weevil.

I didn't know at the time to look for eggs in the stems or I would have had the full life cycle. Nevertheless, it was hands-on nature learning at it's finest.

whatdidyouseetoday

You can read more about the Alfalfa Weevil life cycle here: http://extension.cropsciences.illinois.edu/fieldcrops/insects/alfalfa_weevil/

Lähettänyt kimberlietx kimberlietx, 27. maaliskuuta 2020 12:15

Havainnot

Kuvat / Äänet

Mitä

Mailaskärsäkäs (Hypera postica)

Havainnoija

kimberlietx

Päivämäärä

Maaliskuu 2020

Paikka

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Kuvaus

Noticed these lace balloons in the grass attached to stems of Bur Clover, Medicago polymorph. Also noticed a lot of larvae eating on the plants. Collected for observation/ID.

Kuvat / Äänet

Mitä

Mailaskärsäkäs (Hypera postica)

Havainnoija

kimberlietx

Päivämäärä

Maaliskuu 2020

Paikka

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Kuvaus

Beetle pupa from larvae found on Bur Clover, Medicago polymorph seen here: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/40808424

Kuvat / Äänet

Mitä

Mailaskärsäkäs (Hypera postica)

Havainnoija

kimberlietx

Päivämäärä

Maaliskuu 2020

Paikka

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Kuvaus

Adult emerged from pupae collected for ID. Life cycle links below.

Tunnisteet

Kuvat / Äänet

Mitä

Mailaskärsäkäs (Hypera postica)

Havainnoija

kimberlietx

Päivämäärä

Maaliskuu 2020

Paikka

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Kommentit

Super, super cool! Those balloons are fantastical!

Lähettänyt pfau_tarleton noin 2 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

Thanks for this!

Lähettänyt mokennon noin 2 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

Wow, I would've definitely guessed that larva was a caterpillar, not a beetle!

Lähettänyt hydaticus noin 2 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

Just amazing. :) What dedication, Kim. Love it. :)

Lähettänyt sambiology noin 2 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

How do you do these posts, Kim?

Lähettänyt mokennon noin 2 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

@mokennon You can add basic html to any journal post. I just used img tags for this one.

Lähettänyt kimberlietx noin 2 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

So in principle you could add the URL for any webpage??

Lähettänyt mokennon noin 2 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

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