New Mexico: One-Shots

2019 March 3

While heading up the Permian Trackway on December 4, 2018, there were a few interesting creatures that I only managed to get single good shots of. The best one was probably this Cricket Hunter wasp, with the paralyzed cricket that it had just caught and was carrying home to lay eggs on:

This looks like a Steel Blue Cricket Hunter, Chlorion aerarium. These wasps are pretty impressive, the cricket she had caught was about her body length and probably twice as big around, so that wasp was carrying 2-4 times her body weight. This was big enough that she couldn’t fly with it for more than a foot or so at a time, and instead was mostly dragging it along the ground. I didn’t want to disturb her overmuch, as in the past when I got too close to these situations the wasp tends to abandon the prey item. I always feel guilty when that happens.

The next one here is some sort of longhorned beetle with yellow stripes. The body was maybe half an inch long.


Again, I didn’t really want to disturb it. It had found a nice place that was protected from the sun, and I figured it would be happiest if I just left it there. It looks to be Sphaenothecus bilineatus, which feeds on mesquite and ranges from the southwestern US down to Nicaragua.

And, this last one is a moderate-sized spider hiding in a crack in the rocks. I couldn’t get a picture of its eyes, so can’t really ID it, but given that it doesn’t have a visible web I suspect that it is a wolf spider.


3 Responses
  1. March 6, 2019

    The wolf spider that close first looked like a tarantula to me.

    How did you like New Mexico? I thought it was beautiful, but had enough of it after a week to not want to go back for a while.

  2. March 7, 2019

    New Mexico in early December is pretty decent. It is a nice temperature for general hiking around (about 50 F), not too rainy, and very picturesque. I understand that it is blisteringly hot in the summer, and there are times in the winter when it rains like crazy (and that the blossoming of the desert after the rains is something to behold), but at that time it was pretty nice and I’d be happy to visit again.

  3. May 16, 2019

    wolfspiders are really similar to tarantula but tarntulas have hairs like body full of hairs.

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