Weekly Puzzler #150: Sharp Claws and Big Eyes

Happy Saturday to you all! And happy Memorial Day weekend too.

I just want to give a shout out –and a big THANK YOU–to all of those people who came out last night to our 2nd annual blue ghost party here in western North Carolina. It was great to see so many people out on a Friday night anxious to learn about and view an insect! I was happy to get to meet some new people and see some friends I’d met years ago. Would you agree that nature lovers really are the best kind of people?

Thankfully many of “our” blue ghost fireflies were active and everyone who attended got to watch them moving through the dark forest for a little while. (Sorry, no photos as they are notoriously difficult to photograph–you will just have to make plans to experience them live for yourself one of these days) Later we went to look at the white sheet under the black light to see what moths we attracted–a small number of rather small moths mostly. (We talked about Luna Moths last night–here is what one looks like and here is what a tulip tree moth looks like. Also, here is a DAY-active moth you may have seen)

During the party I talked with several people about our next puzzler–an insect that has an amazing lifecycle, and, as many pointed out, an amazingly loud sound. Wow, a lot of these insects in one place can be deafening. This insect has the longest lifecycle of any North American insect. (But not the world. We will talk about the winner of that prize next weekend)

Check out these photos:



Wow, look at those claws! What do you think it uses them for?


Do you recognize this? Do you know what it is? Have you seen these in a forest near you? Or heard them?  If you want to guess feel free to use the comment box below. All correct responses will be entered in a quarterly drawing–the next one will be on the first day of summer–to win a prize. As always, check back next weekend to learn the answer to the puzzler.

Have a fabulous weekend! I hope you make some time to get outside–it’s a wonderful time of year with a lot of things going on. See you again soon.

This entry was posted in Animals, Insects, Spiders and other Invertebrates, Weekly Puzzler and tagged , , .


  1. Renee Dankert May 27, 2017 at 10:09 am #

    Could that be the nymph stage of the cicadas we are hearing now? before their wings come out?

    • Sharon Mammoser May 30, 2017 at 3:41 pm #

      Renee, You are on the right track. The photo is showing an exuvia, or shed skin of a cicada after it has emerged with its new wings. Great guess! Hope you’re all ready for your trip–have fun!

  2. Mary Lou Kloss May 27, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    Looks like a cicada….noisy little critters. Wishing you a very Happy Memorial Day weekend. We can’t forget all the sacrifices these brave souls made for us.

    • Sharon Mammoser May 30, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

      Yes, they sure are noisy critters! And yes, you are right, this is a cicada skin. Thanks for reading!

  3. Arden May 27, 2017 at 5:46 pm #

    My guess is the cicada.

    Thank you so much for your hospitality last night! It was a wonderful experience top to bottom.?? It was very nice to meet you in person and your husband. Your endless knowledge and enthusiasm for sharing it is wonderful! As a life learner, I am always open to new and interesting things. Many thanks?

    • Sharon Mammoser May 30, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

      Thank you, Arden. We enjoyed having you over and sharing “our”blue ghosts with you! And yes, you are correct. This week’s puzzler is the cicada! Thanks as always for reading!

  4. Joe May 27, 2017 at 7:01 pm #

    Crackly pincer bug?? Too Easy!!!

    • Sharon Mammoser May 30, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

      I know and you know that you really do know. But the crackly pincer bug is an interesting name for a bug.