The insect that alighted on a leaf near me had the look of a chimera, a mythical beast assembled from the parts of other animals. It had a wasp’s head, a bee’s hairy body; and a butterfly’s clubbed antennae.
I was mystified.
It was a sawfly.
Sawflies belong to Hymenoptera, the same order that contains ants, bees, and wasps. The common name, sawfly, comes from the saw-like ovipositor with which a female makes a slit in a plant to deposit eggs. The ensuing larvae then feed on the plant. Adults only live for about a week, so this sighting was serendipitous.
A Cimbicid Sawfly (Trichiosoma triangulum) has landed on a leaf in the forest and then lowered its abdomen to deposit eggs.