Subject: moth? ant?
Location: Tucson, Arizona
March 31, 2017 8:55 pm
I don’t really know what to say here. I’ve never seen an insect like this. It’s completely black, and about the size of a nickel.
At first glance, I thought it was a moth, but it has aggressive looking wings that I relate more closely to a wasp or an ant.
I’m sorry the picture isn’t great. I’m actually pretty terrified of bugs.
Signature: phobic, yet fascinated
Dear Phobic, yet fascinated,
Do you have any grape vines nearby? This appears to be a Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina metallica, and you can compare your image to this BugGuide image. According to BugGuide: “Larvae are a severe pest in some California vineyards.” The Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer is a moth, but it probably derives some protection against predators because of its resemblance to stinging wasps.