Laphria index

Stephen Bullington in his 1986 thesis listed four specimens that he identified as this species from Wisconsin. I have examined one male and four females from central Wisconsin and all of them have been this species. The index/ithypyga group is not common in central Wisconsin and the most I have ever seen in one day of this group is three individuals. They also appear to be very wary and are difficult to photograph even when they have prey. The hairs on the top of there thorax are remarkably variable when observed from various angles and different lighting.

Identifying characteristics

Abdomen with segments three through 6 with golden yellow hairs, hairs on the posterior of the thorax form a narrow triangle that extends at least to the middle of the thorax. The dorsal surface of the sixth abdominal segment has two well defined projections in the center of the rear of this segment.

Similar species

There are several species that may be mistaken for this species. L. ithypyga is the species that most commonly is confused with this species farther south. They superficially look very much alike, but there are differences in the genitalia in both the male and the female, and in the male, the 6th abdominal segment has a single projection at the posterior end rather than the two projections in this species. This species could also be confused with L. scorpio, a northern species that is very similar but the narrow fringe of hair from the posterior of the thorax never reaches the middle of the thorax.

Habitat

Woodland edges and open areas in woodlands. I have seen this species only in more moist woodlands.

Flight

June through the middle of August.

Abundance

This species is not common in central Wisconsin.

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Laphria index
Map key
Laphria indexClick to enlarge

Laphria index

Plainfield TriCounty School Forest, Waushara Co., WI. June 22, 2009.

Laphria indexClick to enlarge

Laphria index with small prey

Quincy Bluffs area, July 30, 2008.

Laphria indexClick to enlarge

Laphria index/ithypyga with prey.

NE of Wild Rose, June 18, 2008.

Laphria indexClick to enlarge

Laphria index/ithypyga with colorful leaf hopper as prey

UW-Madison Arboretum, Madison, July 2, 2005.

Laphria indexClick to enlarge

Laphria index/ithypyga with colorful leaf hopper as prey

UW-Madison Arboretum, Madison, July 2, 2005.

Laphria indexClick to enlarge

Laphria index mated pair.

Germania Marsh, June 10, 2008.

Laphria indexClick to enlarge

Laphria index

Quincy Bluff area, Adams Co., WI. July 30, 2008.