August 25, 2010 7:27 pm
re Image 1: My brother found this in Minnesota and said that the luminscence was real and not an artifact of the photo. It looks familiar but I am stumped. Any clues?
re Image 2- My Nephew found this little guy and said he only saw 4 legs and that it looked like a moving piece of schmutz. Ideas? (Sorry about low-res).
DeWaine from Homer
We can identify your insect, but we have no comment on the alleged luminescence which is not a typical characteristic of the pictured insect. The insect found by your brother is an Owlfly in the family Ascalaphidae. Owlflies are Neuropterans that are related to Lacewings and Antlions. They are, according to BugGuide: “Bizarre creatures that look like a cross between a dragonfly and a butterfly. The body resembles that of other neuropterans, more-or-less, but the prominent antennae are clubbed like those of butterflies.” Owlflies are not capable of emitting light, so the luminescence is a mystery that we are not equipped to solve. The other insect is a Masked Hunter.