Amazing photos I took of 4 species on and around Milkweed plants in Fremont Peak state park, California, on July 4th Hi What’s That Bug people,
I took some really incredible photos on a hike in Fremont Peak. We found (at least) four species enjoying the blooming milkweed plants, and of particular interest were the enormous Pepsid spider wasps. I am attaching just one native-resolution photo (of the Pepsid), because they are 2Mb each on average, but I have hosted several more on Photobucket; hit the below links to check them all out. The attached photo isn’t the best, but it has the best view of the forewing cells – you can see the shape and size of many of them, which might allow for a species identification. We have: the Pesid wasp. We estimated they were at least 2 inches long. Blue Milkweed Beetle” or something related to it? At least two specimens photographed, Milkweed Longhorn Beetle” or related. My goodness these guys are charismatic. Especially see the head-on photo and profile photo. Some kind of “Milkweed Bug”, the yellow guy. He looks similar to a Small Milkweed Bug, except that he’s yellow instead of red. A darkling beetle. My wife says there are over 30,000 species. Any clue which one?? A velvet ant, including his burrow. But which velvet ant?? Monarch Butterfly larvae? Some kind of caterpillar, we think Monarch because of the location and the plant, but it’d be great if you confirmed. A cicada. They were buzzing mightily. We managed to spot one in the grass. Please feel free to use any of these photos, with the attribution to the photographers: Joshua Stanley and Marnia Johnston. They were all taken with a Canon Powershot A720 IS in macro mode on July 4, 2008 at Fremont Peak, California.
Your Tarantula Hawk image is wonderful. We believe Eric Eaton has a special interest in this genus and he may be able to shed some light on the species where we cannot. Your multi-species letter is not really conducive to our archiving system and posting all of your wonderful images will probably take the better portion of the day, so we will limit ourselves to just the Tarantula Hawk. The caterpillar is a Monarch. If we have time after posting some other submissions, we may return to your letter and post an additional image.