Monday Night Mystery

This looks like it could be painful. What is it?


Five points to the first person to name the organism, and five for the structure.

The cumulative points winner for the month of May will win either 1) any 8x10 print from my insect photo gallery, or 2) a guest blog post on the (safe-for-work) topic of their choosing.

[SEM image by the lovely and talented Elle Camino]

More like this

Praying Mantis limb?

By FormicidaeFantasy (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink


I suppose more specifically the tibia and femur of a praying mantis. It looks like the tarsus got in there too.

By FormicidaeFantasy (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink

I'll go with Tenodera sinensis, and I will also stop posting!

By FormicidaeFantasy (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink

Well, Allen, Larry seems pretty confident, so I'm going to wager 40 points on Larry Hovis.

Just to be different I am going to go with a mantid fly.

By Gordon Snelling (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink

It's a mantis foreleg, as already said. However, it's not _Tenodera_ because it only has three discoidal spines (_Tenodera_ should have four) so it's either an orthoderine or an iridopterygine. Unfortunately I wouldn't know your local mantids so I can't take it any further.

The only thing I wonder about here, is if it is a mantis foreleg, why was it necessary to take the image with an electron microscope? If it was an adult mantis, it would have been big enough for optical photography. Was it a mantis nymph, by any chance? Possibly one that just hatched?

Everyone else did all the work, leading me to guess it's the mesial surface of the right forelimb of an immature [i]Stagmomantis caroliniana[/i].

By James C. Trager (not verified) on 25 May 2010 #permalink

Is the specific epithet caroliniana or just carolina ?

By Peter Coffey (not verified) on 25 May 2010 #permalink

How about a dryinid wasp? Perhaps Dryinus?

By Joe-aptera (not verified) on 25 May 2010 #permalink

Good catch, Peter. It is simply "carolina".

By James C. Trager (not verified) on 25 May 2010 #permalink

I am going with an amblypigid foreleg.

A raptorial leg (modified foreleg) of most likely a mantis, but it could possibly also be a mantispid (Neuroptera).

My guess would be a mantid nymph judging from the size

If so, just for clarification's sake on the body parts, the bottom wide part is the femur, the smaller part on the top right is the tibia, and the extension from the tibia going out to the left is the tarsus

By Cazakatari (not verified) on 25 May 2010 #permalink

I'm guessing head lice (louse) on a human hair.

By Eric Lice (not verified) on 25 May 2010 #permalink

Going with Christopher Taylor's comment, I'll say Orthodera ministralis, though having kept Tenodera it looks a lot like that too. Pity points, please?

If I'm wrong it has to be the great appendage of some newly discovered Cambrian arthropod 'thingy'.