Subject: ID of insect please
Geographic location of the bug: Kansas City MO USA
Time: 08:38 AM EDT
I have never seen this bug before. Looks like its wearing a combination feather duster/ trident on its head and I just can’t even.
How you want your letter signed: Kathleen M Henn
These images are positively puzzling. This is a member of the order Diptera, and the feathery antennae indicates it is a male, but the “trident” head anatomy is quite the mystery for us. It is a member of a group BugGuide identifies as “‘Nematocera’ (Non-Brachycera)” that can be identified by “The most distinctive identification feature is the antennae which have 6 or more segments. Most have long and slender antennae, which in some families can be highly plumose. Other families have short, thick antennae (eg. the march flies – Bibionidae). Most of the flies in this group have slender bodies and long, narrow wings.” This group includes Crane Flies and Mosquitoes. We have not had any luck with our initial attempt at a species identification, and we are running out of time this morning, so we are posting it as unidentified and we will contact Eric Eaton for his input. Meanwhile, perhaps one of our readers will be able to research this while we are out gainfully employed and working a 13 hour Thursday. How big was it?
Update: Eric Eaton responded to us pretty quickly “Male mosquito. Pretty standard anatomy for them, actually.” and we found similar anatomy in this BugGuide image.