Nature is not always beautiful or cute. Sometimes it is cruel and ugly.
On July 14, 2010, while I was watching the mound of Formica exsectoides, I saw a very small form crawling up and down a blade of grass growing on the middle of the mound. I could not identify it but I knew it was something strange. So I took a bunch of pictures.
It was moving fast and I had a hard time keeping it in focus, and getting a view that was not obstructed by other blades of grass.
I had to go to bugguide.net to get an I.D. of the creature. This is an insect belonging to the group called “piglet bugs”. The scientific name for this insect is Brachomorpha oculata. However, this was only one view of the creature.
There was another creature on the piglet bug. In fact there were two.
The other creatures have been identified as larvae of a parasitic wasp, most likely in the group called Dryinids. They have already harmed the piglet bug and will most likely kill it.
Nature is not always pretty.