Subject: Indian or Hobomok skipper?
Location: Great Falls Park, Virginia
August 24, 2014 4:27 pm
Looking at various sources, I am not sure one can tell the difference, but do you have an opinion as to whether this is an Indian or Hobomok Skipper? Both look just like what I photographed as far as I can see. No other angles, unfortunately, as didn’t move until it flew off. I am also attaching a photo of what presumably is a Cicada Killer Wasp (it was after all, killing an Annual Cicada!), mainly because it has a great deal more yellow than any photo I can find – is this just natural variation? A difference between the sexes? Or is there a sub-species I haven’t seen mentioned?
We will address the Skipper question later, but most Skippers look alike to our untrained eye. What you have mistaken for a Cicada Killer with prey is actually an invasive, exotic European Hornet, a formidable predator that can take down very large prey. According to BugGuide: “Predatory on other insects, used to feed young.” There is also this elaboration: “The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on.”