Subject: blue wasp / mimic in Peru
Location: Aguas Calientes, Peru
March 13, 2014 2:44 pm
Hey Bugman! I found this guy in Aguas Calientes, Peru (outside Machu Picchu) in late November the day after an incredible downpour. His / her gorgeous aquamarine wings (opaque) caught my eye – and I’m trying to decide if it was a spider wasp or a wasp mimic <http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Amazon%20-%20Antichloris%20eriphia.htm>
I’m nearly certain based on how fuzzy he appears that it’s a mimic – but that could of course be due to my poor camera res…
Signature: Jet Setter
Dear Jet Setter,
The insect in your photo is definitely a moth that mimics wasps, and the link to the Blue-Green Wasp Mimic you provided appears to us to be the correct genus. The Learn About Butterflies site indicates: “The genus Antichloris contains about 30 species characterised by having black wings and bodies that reflect a bluish or greenish sheen. Identification can be difficult because there are many very similar species in other genera including Timalus, Phaeosphecia, Poliopastea, Psoloptera and Macrocneme. It is possible to narrow down the search by paying close attention to the wing shape and venation, and to the markings on the head, thorax and abdomen. In Antichloris eriphia the thoracic markings are very distinctive, and there are 2 red spots behind the head – although these can only be seen when the moth extends its head forward when feeding.” Exact species identification is most likely only possible if an expert (and that would NOT be us) inspects the actual specimen.