Help With Odd Insect Identification

liveinabin

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This morning I found a rather odd insect crawling on my front door. As i opened the door to go in it fell onto the carpet. it then found it's way onto the strap of my hand bag so I moved it to the dinning room table and put a glass over it so I could get a better look.
Now I'm a country girl and quite familier with most kinds of insects but I have no idea what this was.

It was about 5 mls long and had six legs which were "spit" at the end. It's head looked like that if a fly, with large eyes. It's back end curled around underneath it. But the strangest thing was that it had no wings or wing casing, at least it didn't. I left it on the kitchen table when I went into town. I came back about an hour and a half later and the dam thing had wings! I know it didn't when I left because I made a note of that because i was going to look in some insect books in town to see what it was.

I showed to the hubby when he came home at lunch time and he decided that it as some kind of newly hatched fly. He let it go.

Does anyone know what it may have been? FYI my front door opens directly onto the street. There are no flowers etc near it.
 

oll_lewis

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What you nead is a species identifacation key :)
just answer the question and then continue on to the question number it tell's you to go to with that answer...

this is an easy one to use and may have what you're looking for

Because the latin name probably won't mean much to you, you could try entering it into google and doing an image search to see if you can get anything that looks like the insect you found.
 

CallMeKenneth

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It could have been a rove beetle of some type (the devil's coach horse is a large species of rove beetle). There are approximately 1000 species in Britain, ranging from just under 2mm to 32mm in length, and even among entomologists are regarded as a particularly difficult group to identify. They generally have very short wing cases, covering only the front part of the abdomen, so you may not notice them straight away. Hope this helps.
 
A

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Possibly a dragonfly nymph?

I found one when I was a kid and it freaked me out completely - don't know if they can walk or not, but it certainly matches your description.
 

Breakfastologist

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Sounds more like a Rove Beetle to me. A dragonfly nymph would need to be beside a pond or stream to start with and would probably have turned into a complete Dragonfly.

There is a page mentioning them here: http://www.happydranch.com/rove.html but the picture is dismal. The Devil's coachhorse is the largest and most common british rove beetle but there are many smaller species. The smaller ones are usually quite shiny and clearly segmented.
 

liveinabin

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Thanks for all the sugestions, but it looked nothing like any pictures anyone has given links to.

I have to say that my and the hubbies first thought was dragonfly larvae. It's head looked very much like that of a dragonfly. We are about 1000 yards from a very large park with two big ponds. (The park is full of great wildlife, for the middle of a town. I've seen a jay and a green woodpecker there in the last couple of days)

It was nothing like a beetle, it's body was soft like a fly, it almost looked like a malformed maggot . It didn't have the hard casing of a beetle.

thanks for your help though :)
 
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This is probably a good time to mention that dragonfly nymphs usually live under the water...

Might it have been coming out of a pupa, given that it acquired its wings rather sharpish having started off without them?
 

CallMeKenneth

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A pupa wouln't be able to crawl though - some can wriggle a bit, and some can even emit sounds, but I don't know of any that can crawl even a short distance.
 

Breakfastologist

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A pupa couldn't, but a butterfly or moth emerging from it's pupa takes a while to pump it's wings up to their full size. However, I don't think this is the insect in question because it would clearly have been a butterfly or moth when it had it's wings. I don't know if other types of fly do the same.
 

liveinabin

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No it wasn't one of them.

The hubbie used to breed butterflys and moths, and had dragonflys in his pond so he knew it wasn't any of them.


i wish I'd taken a photo of it now!
 

Pete Younger

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Could you do a drawing and scan it, then you could post it.
 

Hot_Cross_Nun

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Strange White Insect

Can anyone identify the insect in the photo?

P7140026-1.jpg


It turned up on my bathroom windowsill this morning. (South Wales, UK).

It hasn't moved much, but it's alive. (I thought it was dead and went to turn it over when photographing it, and it fluttered about a bit then settled down again.)

It's quite beautiful. It's pure white as far as I can see, though I haven't seen its underside. Its wings (there appear to be three on either side) are like extremely fine feathers.

I've never seen anything like it before.
 

LaurenChurchill

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That really is a most beautiful creature, Hot_Cross_Nun (LOVE the name btw :D )

oll_lewis, is that link typed correctly? I'm just getting a "Can't display the page" sign when I click on it.

And liveinabin, I've never actually looked at your gender, but for ages now I've thought you were a guy! lol Not sure why.
 

Fats_Tuesday

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Re: Strange White Insect

Hot_Cross_Nun said:
Can anyone identify the insect in the photo?

P7140026-1.jpg


It turned up on my bathroom windowsill this morning. (South Wales, UK).

It hasn't moved much, but it's alive. (I thought it was dead and went to turn it over when photographing it, and it fluttered about a bit then settled down again.)

It's quite beautiful. It's pure white as far as I can see, though I haven't seen its underside. Its wings (there appear to be three on either side) are like extremely fine feathers.

I've never seen anything like it before.
It looks like a plume moth
http://bugguide.net/node/view/4561

Possibly a white plume moth
http://ukmoths.org.uk/show.php?bf=1513

They have very thin wings, which stick out at right-angles to the body when at rest, which gives them a T-shaped appearance.
 

Hot_Cross_Nun

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Fats_Tuesday, many thanks for that information! My mystery insect is indeed a white plume moth. It looks exactly like the picture in your second link.

LaurenChurchill, it is indeed very beautiful, the loveliest insect I've ever seen. Check out Fats_Tuesday's second link for a great photo that's far more detailed than my effort.

:D
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Just came back from doing my weekly shop.
Noticed something flying around in the car.
When I parked on my drive, I spotted this insect drop down into my driver's side door-pocket.
I carefully extricated it, on a windscreen sponge and had a look at it.
It was around 3cm in length and had wings a bit like a cicada, but the striking feature was its long neck and bulbous head.
It sat quite happily on the sponge and I thought I had to get a photo of it. As I approached with my smartphone, it kept bending its long neck to look around at me.
Having taken my photo, I blew on it gently and it flew away towards my back garden.
Don't recall seeing an insect quite like this before. Any ideas on its ID?

insect.JPG
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Sid

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Strange White Insect

Can anyone identify the insect in the photo?

P7140026-1.jpg


It turned up on my bathroom windowsill this morning. (South Wales, UK).

It hasn't moved much, but it's alive. (I thought it was dead and went to turn it over when photographing it, and it fluttered about a bit then settled down again.)

It's quite beautiful. It's pure white as far as I can see, though I haven't seen its underside. Its wings (there appear to be three on either side) are like extremely fine feathers.

I've never seen anything like it before.
Hi 'Hot Cross Nun.' Believe the insect that you are describing is that of the 'Plume Moth.' There is a fair number of variations of this moth. I had one in my garden a while back ~ pure white with three feathery wings - I'm thinking that this is pretty close to what you have described.
Cheers.
Plume Moth.jpg

"Apologies 'Fats_Tuesday,' didn't look at what you had already posted previously!"
 
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blessmycottonsocks

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Hi 'Hot Cross Nun.' Believe the insect that you are describing is that of the 'Plume Moth.' There is a fair number of variations of this moth. I had one in my garden a while bac ~ pure white with three feathery wings - I'm thinking that this is pretty close to what you have described.
Cheers.View attachment 27666
"Apologies 'Fats_Tuesday,' didn't look at what you had already posted previously!"

Wow! A 12 year gap between question and answer.
Is that a record for this forum?
 
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EnolaGaia

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Well that's me told.
I've only been chatting here six years.

I can't point you to the specific examples, but in the course of rummaging through the archives since the 2018 migration I've replied to posts dating back to the forum's beginnings (i.e., 2001 / 2002).
 

joeosker

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On the Greek Island of Rhodes , couple of years back we had what looked like a Devils Coachman but as long as a playing card , there were grown men on chairs ;) the hotel boss said she had no clue as to what it was
 

Mythopoeika

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I've only ever seen one Devil's Coach Horse in my life, and that was back in the early 70s. It was dead.
 
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