Texas woods insect
Location: River Legacy Park, between Dallas and Fort Worth, TX
January 14, 2011 11:42 pm
I found this insect clinging to a tree as I wondered through a wooded park in Arlington Texas. It’s a fairly moist area, with elms, oaks, willows, pines, and cottonwoods, and an assortment of low growing brush and vines.
Unfortunately this guy looked like he’d been dead a while and has possibly been decapitated. The body is almost beetle like, but the long protrusions/legs on the back end have me stumped. If that is the back end.
The body was around .75” long, with legs 1.5”. Wish now I’d collected it. 😛
Thanks! Hope to hear from you guys.
Signature: The Little Katydid That Could
We are in agreement with you that this image does not represent a complete insect, but we disagree with you that it has been decapitated. At first we were confused, as were you, regarding the front of the creature, but we now believe that this is a mutilated Carpenter Ant with a missing abdomen. In most insects, the abdomen contains the most nutritional value, and predators will often feed on the abdomen of the prey leaving behind the harder head, thorax and extremities. Think of eating a lobster. It is all about the tail. We are linking to an image of a Carpenter Ant on BugGuide that you may use as a comparison. What you have mistaken for legs on the back end would seem to be the antennae on the head.
OH! Now that you say that I can see it. 🙂 Good grief, that sucker was huge. Thanks, Daniel!