Lace balloons in the grass?

Sometimes when you are under Disaster Emergency Self-imposed I-refuse-to-get-coronavirus Quarantine, you get bored. I was wandering around the yard one day and got down on my knees to look at crane fly larvae. While I was there, I noticed these crazy lace balloons attached to the stems of Bur Clover (Medicago polymorpha).

It only took a second to spot the larvae, too.

I was fascinated watching the little larvae wiggle around in their lace balloons, but I couldn't tell if they were related to the egg stage or the cocoon stage. So I sent my field assistant (read: nephew) to bring my phone camera and collection supplies. I was able to open one of the lace balloons to see that it was a cocoon with a pupa inside.

But what ARE THEY? I suspected they were some kind of beetle (probably weevil based on the "snout" of the pupa,) but there were several species in the grass that day, so I collected a few cocoons to see what emerged.

And here it is... the Alfalfa Weevil.

I didn't know at the time to look for eggs in the stems or I would have had the full life cycle. Nevertheless, it was hands-on nature learning at it's finest.

whatdidyouseetoday

You can read more about the Alfalfa Weevil life cycle here: http://extension.cropsciences.illinois.edu/fieldcrops/insects/alfalfa_weevil/

Anotado por kimberlietx kimberlietx, 27 de marzo de 2020 a las 12:15 PM

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

kimberlietx

Fecha

Marzo 2020

Lugar

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Descripción

Noticed these lace balloons in the grass attached to stems of Bur Clover, Medicago polymorph. Also noticed a lot of larvae eating on the plants. Collected for observation/ID.

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

kimberlietx

Fecha

Marzo 2020

Lugar

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Descripción

Beetle pupa from larvae found on Bur Clover, Medicago polymorph seen here: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/40808424

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

kimberlietx

Fecha

Marzo 2020

Lugar

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Descripción

Adult emerged from pupae collected for ID. Life cycle links below.

Etiquetas

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

kimberlietx

Fecha

Marzo 2020

Lugar

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Comentarios

Super, super cool! Those balloons are fantastical!

Anotado por pfau_tarleton hace mas de 2 años (Advertencia)

Thanks for this!

Anotado por mokennon hace mas de 2 años (Advertencia)

Wow, I would've definitely guessed that larva was a caterpillar, not a beetle!

Anotado por hydaticus hace mas de 2 años (Advertencia)

Just amazing. :) What dedication, Kim. Love it. :)

Anotado por sambiology hace mas de 2 años (Advertencia)

How do you do these posts, Kim?

Anotado por mokennon hace mas de 2 años (Advertencia)

@mokennon You can add basic html to any journal post. I just used img tags for this one.

Anotado por kimberlietx hace mas de 2 años (Advertencia)

So in principle you could add the URL for any webpage??

Anotado por mokennon hace mas de 2 años (Advertencia)

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