Location: Port Elizabeth, New Jersey
June 25, 2016
I found an exuvia in my yard last weekend, 6/24-6/25, in Port Elizabeth NJ. It is almost identical to the images posted here, more similar than the image on bugguide. This exuvia is huge. Close in size to a cicada exuvia. I think it unlikely to be a horsefly. I’ve tried twice to submit my pictures but it just spins indefinitely. The exuvia that I found is close to 2 inches long and has an identifiable head.
Signature: Kevin Canning
Thanks so much for submitting your wonderfully detailed images of the Exuvia or cast off exoskeleton you discovered. The mandibles evident in the head area are proof this is NOT a Horse Fly exuvia. The mandibles are designed for chewing, and our best guess at this time is that the exuvia belongs to a Wasp, but we would not rule out a Beetle. The antennae are also quite prominent as are the eyes. We suspect this is some species of Solitary Wasp, perhaps a Cicada Killer or a Scoliid Wasp. Here ia a BugGuide image of the head of a Cicada Killer and here is a Science Photo image of a Scoliid Wasp. We will write to Eric Eaton to try to get some input from him.
Eric Eaton responds
I have no idea, though the ridges of spines on the segments make me think “fly pupa” first, like a mydas fly or robber fly.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
Update: July 5, 2016
Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash, we are entertaining the possibility that this might be a Moth Exuvia.
Thanks, I didn’t think it went through. I tried to attach 3 images actually. Thanks for trying to ID my molt. I think it’s too large for robber fly as well as even horse fly. I think you might be on the right track with possible beetle because i did once find a very large ground beetle on the property. I’m going to continue to look in to it.
I still have the exuvia and i also have the ability to take macro shots if i can capture something specific that will help identify it.
Update: April 18, 2017
We just received a comment from Michael Ellis with links to BugGuide indicating that this is a Carpenter Moth Exuvia, Prionoxystus robiniae.