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Radford, Virginia, USA
September 22, 2011
Size: 10-12 mm ? long
I found this cocoon when I dug around what I thought was as ant colony - didn't find any ants. I dug into the surface of dirt with a hole in it under a tree root that was exposed at the crest of a small hill. I'd like an ID, please.


The cocoon would contain the exuvium of the final larval instar that spun the cocoon. Although it would probably involve more work than it would be worth, the exuvium can be boiled in a solution of KOH so that the integument will soften and unwind to the point where it can be mounted on a slide, where the structures of the head can be examined to determine the family, if not a bit more than that. However, if the cocoon was made by a sawfly, I suppose that might be determinable from the head capsule alone without the need for doing the slide thing.

Bob, I appreciate that very interesting info.
Unfortunately I did not pick up the cocoon - I only took the pic. The ID will remain a mystery as is often the case.

Moved from ID Request.
Definitely Hymenoptera... it's very similar to some common sawfly cocoons but the shape is a bit odd and I'm not 100% sure it's not some kind of wasp.

Charley, I appreciate your sharing your thoughts on the ID!

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