Meet your Martian Overlord: Photon Challenge #4 – Updated

You will obey. What is my name?

This 3 mm long monster landed on my desk last week. I was nonplussed, but not intimidated, and soon had made some sense of its secret name. Now it’s the turn of my devoted readers to show their skill. Unlike most bug blogs that post a challenge, macromite is usually willing to show you as much of the critter as can be seen, so below is the full ventral view and below that the collection data. Never let it be said that macromite doesn’t play fair.

There are more things in heaven and earth ...

AB: Onefour Heritage Rangeland Natural Area,
49°9.370’N 110°16.397’W, el. 900 m,
23 Jul 2010, white pan trap

Update – Like most of you, my first impression was Strepsiptera, but like Ted, a second’s thought said not really. So far Ted is the only one with any points here (but at Alberta Bugs things are heating up). Adrian’s point about the eyes is interesting, though, and deserves a point. Here are a couple more views of our new alien overlords:


7 Responses to “Meet your Martian Overlord: Photon Challenge #4 – Updated”

  1. Adrian D. Thysse Says:

    What a great image! I’m clueless, but I’ll hazard a guess that due to its eye position it spends most of its time up-side-down, probably clinging to something. Diptera, if those are halteres I see.

    Very cool!

  2. James Glasier Says:

    I would say that it is a male Strepsiptera. That or a giant thrips. I’ll go with my first guess though.

  3. Tucker Lancaster Says:

    I have to agree with male Strepsiptera. I’ve remember reading somewhere that they have eyes that look like blackberries. Or… maybe raspberries in this case.

  4. Nora Bryan Says:

    I was going for Strepsiptera even before seeing the expert guesses. or, even if wrong, I’m feeling pretty good about this!

  5. Ted C. MacRae Says:

    I’m guessing class Hexapoda?!

    The apparent lack of any mouthparts says male Strepsiptera, but everything else about it is so not Strepsiptera, from the moniliform rather than flabellate antennae, the tiny rather than dumbell-shaped head, and the lack of “normal” looking tarsi. Gestalt is more thrips-like, but that lack of mouthparts…


  6. scrubmuncher Says:

    By Zeus’ beard that is bizarre. It can’t be Strepsiptera, since all the key features are wrong. The hind wings are halteres, so it must be Diptera, perhaps one of the peculiar Cecidomyiidae? The body looks to be distended from the fluid in the pan trap.

  7. Greg Z. Says:

    I’m going to guess a male Coccidae, or a male of something in the Coccoidea.

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