Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Jonathan Hoskins, Contributing Editor
Full name:
Jonathan Hoskins
E-mail address:
gmail: nat.jw.hoskins
City, state, country:

Summary for Jonathan (Jon) Hoskins

I study paleontology but am also interested in extant species of invertebrates, particularly Hymenoptera and Chrysopidae. I'm also active over on iNat (@jonathan142).


My formal training is in paleontology with an emphasis on taxonomy (and am currently preparing for PhD applications when that's more feasible). That being said, my school of thought is that being a good paleontologist requires being a good biologist first. Most of my familiarity is self-taught, using a combination of expert comments on BugGuide records, delving through the literature, and reaching out to those with further training. (It really helped having a nearly eidetic memory and strong eye for detail.) During the time I was heavily involved in TriBeta (ΒΒΒ) at UTSA, I quickly became our resident "wasp guy" through Wasp of the Week facts.

Taxa of Interest

Polistinae • Sphecidae • Mutillidae • Ichneumonidae • Thynnidae (Myzinum) • Chrysopidae

My first love of entomology has to be the genus Polistes, due to its complexity as well as the great detail about identification given by Matthias Buck. After a year or two looking through species of the US, I quickly found myself wading through the Polistes of Australia, Mexico, and then even Central and South America. That later expanded to a few groups of Epiponini and Mischocyttarini as well. I've been working on a few Quick Guides to species that I've published to my iNaturalist journal.

A very close second love has been the Ichneumonidae. These cosmopolitan, highly biodiverse species often seem to receive little love, and the rate of online misidentification can be staggering. My interest began in Ophioninae, expanded to the "zebra-striped" Müllerian ring of Cryptini, and has taken me through a few of the more readily-diagnosed groups. This has also resulted in at least passing familiarity with several Neotropical ophionines (mainly the genus Thyreodon) and the impressive Dolichomitus longicauda.

Along the way, I also became fascinated with certain members of Neuroptera (primarily Chrysopidae but also a few the antlion genus Glenurus). Chrysopidae turned into more of a puzzle. I had collected a few green lacewings over the years and finally couldn't just leave them identified to the family level. I pored over comments from Drs. Tauber, Penny, and Oswald, went through numerous verified photos, and waded through the literature. I've recently been helping to correct observations on iNaturalist and providing guidance for Wikimedia Commons.