Subject: Strange insect (or exoskeleton?) in the Okanagan
Location: Shushwap, British Columbia, Canada
August 10, 2012 2:06 am
I’ve been following your site for a while, but I’ve never needed to submit an inquiry as I live somewhere too cold for the more interesting species of insects. We just recently went on vacation and found this interesting bug perching upside down on some rocks by the lake. We first thought it was a spider, but then realized it only had 6 legs.
After some further investigation, as well as finding another one stuck in a spider web, we came to realize that it was either no longer alive or was simply the exoskeleton of a still living creature. Just wondering if you might be able to identify it for me? It’s been bugging me (hee hee).
This is the exuvia of a Dragonfly. The most frequently submitted exuviae or shed exoskeletons we receive for identification are those of Cicadas, though Dragonflies are a close second. In both cases, the nymphs live in dramatically different habitats than the adults. Dragonfly nymphs are known as naiads and they are aquatic.