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Photo#428598
Insect in hole

Insect in hole
Horseshoe Bend, Weatherford, Parker County, Texas, USA
July 14, 2010
I have been observing this insect excavate this hole. I am used to the wasps around here doing this to install caterpillars with their eggs, but this insect behaves differently. The wasps I have observed generally bring the dirt globs out of the hole, and usually backwards, using their hind set of legs. This critter comes up to the top of the hole, level with the ground, and 'flings' the dirt balls over its head and away from the hole, using a front set of appendages. The wasps also leave the hole occasionally, which this insect never does. I know the photo doesn't show much, but I am hoping that someone else has seen this creature, and can help me understand what it is.

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

I forgot to mention...
You might be able to confirm the ID by doing a little "fishing." Place a grass stem into the hole, wait a few minutes (to give the critter time to latch onto it with its jaws), then pull it out quickly. If it's a Tiger Beetle larva, you'll find yourself with something that looks like this:


 
Well...
the hole appears to be filled with dirt now (and was the day after I posted the pic here). Would you know Ken do these larvae stay in the hole they are in to pupate?

 
No clue, unfortunately.
Maybe it's time to get the shovel out again. :)

 
Thanks....
...might do that if it gets down below the 90s here! HOT & HUMID!

 
So that's how it's done...
I tried taking a shovel and putting it in deep from the side to get below the larvae and lift it out. Its hole must be deep as it wasn't in the dirt I shoveled up. I'll have to try the grass! Thanks.

Reminds me of
a Tiger Beetle larva:



Let's see if anyone else agrees.

 
This is definately it!
Thanks! There are a lot of Ocellated Tiger beetles around here...maybe it's one of them.

This pic shows...
...the insect right after it has 'flung' a dirt ball back to the left.

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