Fortune Can Be a Fickle Mistress

I should have known, or at least read the signs, when the espresso machine blow up in camp that the rest of the day was going to be full of setbacks. I should have just cleaned up the mess, pulled out a chair, placed it under the shade and pulled out my book. Yep, that’s what I should have done!

No need to bore everyone with a detailed chronological sequence of events but let’s leave it out this; if the weather could hinter filming, it did. If something mechanical could fail so as to delay or cancel an activity…it did! Wasn’t Thomas Paine who said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”? So true


However, there was one event that went well. On day one Brad called be across the camp to show me an unusual insect. Quite honestly, it looked like a hornet on steroids and we were both a bit nervous to approach. At this point I thought what a great way to start our project. Once I found and assemble our net we quickly had in on our board to examine.

Ichneumon Wasp (Ichneumonoidea) observed near Grayland State Park. Photograph by Brad Miller.

Entomology is new to me other than your common insects but after consulting my reference books I believe I’ve correctly identified this a part of the Mayfly family. If anyone knows the specific species please leave a comment below. This one was solo so probably is a male. Their presence signifies that clean fresh water is nearby and there is pond located just to the south of the park.

An interesting fact about Mayflies is there short life span. Adult males typically live one day. Just long enough to breed and don’t eat during that time period. Even more astounding is that Dolania americana has the shortest lifespan of any mayfly: the adult females of the species live for less than five minutes.

I’ll continue to try and identify this particular species and as I mentioned if anyone has an idea please leave a comment.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Craig Wilson

    Not a mayfly but an Ichneumon Wasp (Ichneumonoidea). They have a long ovipositor to lay eggs. Interesting little critters.

    1. Steve Weileman

      Craig, thanks for the correct ID! I’m really new to trying to ID insects so I appreciate the guiding hand. I’ll read up on this wasp over the weekend. Thanks again!

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