A young naturalist from southern Texas just sent this stunning male ant to me to accession. Look at those hairs! These are the sausage flies of the most heavily armored army ants on Earth, and the northernmost record I'm aware of. Nomamyrmex esenbeckii Riviera, TX, USA.
Ever since seeing these venomless round spiders in my Golden Guide, I've wanted to find one. Turns out they really do that exact pose. They also spin a slingshot web to hurl themselves at their prey! Hyptiotes cavatus Ithaca, NY, USA.
Stalk eyed flies have a very tenuous hold in the Americas: no species in the Neotropics, and only two in eastern temperate North America. These two sp. have shorter eye stalks and are more hammerheaded than stalk eyed. Sphyracephala subbifasciata Montezuma, NY, USA.
Does anybody know what's happening here? I found a few clumps of these beautiful metallic pupae/eggs next to what I assume are parasitized nymphal thrips? All in the center of a small twig. Dryden, NY, USA.
A strange new clerid for me! While many species in the family eat other insects, the aptly named Cosmopolitan Blue Bone Beetle feeds on carrion. Necrobia violacea On dead deer & fish pile, Binghampton, NY, USA.
The most confusing part about eastern red-backed salamanders is that they are not always red! Here are the three main colors they come in. They are one of the most abundant terrestrial vertebrates of the eastern US. Plethodon cinereus Ithaca, NY, USA.
Here's a species new to science, an undescribed Temnothorax species that calls Boca Chica home. It looks like nothing else we know on the continent. Big thanks to @mmprebus for identifying this for me.
The area around SpaceX's launchpad is some of the last of its kind in the world, much of it previously lost to agriculture. Center of the continent & gateway to the tropics, it is one of the biologically richest areas in the US with a crazy mixmash of species found nowhere else.