Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-30-2013   #1
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
Grand Canyon mystery critters

So I recently converted some old slides from a 1977 Grand Canyon trip, and found pictures of two critters that I didn't recognize. At the time I remember thinking I'd get some smart guy to identify them, but of course, the slides went into a box for a few years and I forgot about them. Until now.

So, any smart people out there recognize what these are? (Advance apologies for the poor quality; I had the wrong lens, these critters were uncooperative as far as having their picture taken and the slides sat in a box for a little bit.)

The hornet looking thing has a brilliant navy blue body and yellow wings (really!) I don't recall now where I saw it, certainly above Lava Falls, beyond that I just don't know. It acted like a hornet, had a stinger, and seemed to be collecting nectar.

The other critter was at camp just above separation rapid. It had 8 legs, leading me to think spider, was about the size of a pea, had amazing white fur on his body and legs, and moved like a bandit. I mean very quick, and never stopped moving. It didn't move with purpose, like it had someplace to go or something to do, more like a hyper dog looking for a scent.
(funny vision of Schutzie on hand and knees trying to keep up, camera in one hand, while little bug zooms round camp.)

It also had unusual antennae pointing forward on it's head. like cow horns. The fur was almost translucent, very soft looking, almost like a fur coat.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	unk 046.jpg
Views:	190
Size:	689.0 KB
ID:	6559   Click image for larger version

Name:	unk 047.jpg
Views:	215
Size:	865.4 KB
ID:	6560  


Schutzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013   #2
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 89
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 148
Tarantula Hawk, Velvet Ant

I believe the first picture is a tarantula hawk. Tarantula Hawks sting the tarantula and then take it back to its nest where they lay an egg in it and cover the outside. The egg will hatch and crawl inside and eat it from the inside not hitting the vital organs for awhile before devouring it Tarantula hawk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The next is a velvet ant which is really a wasp that is super sensitive to its surroundings. If you try to let it walk across your hand it will immediately be repulsed by your smell and try to leave. Their sting is REAL so don't try to touch it. Mutillidae - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


moetown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013   #3
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 599
Gotta love the Buzz. We know everything!
David L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013   #4
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
You nailed the hornet thingy, I'm pretty sure that's him. Tarantula eater huh? Cool.

Don't think the spider in the fur coat is what you said; the coat on my critter was a translucent white, and it didn't have the double body; just a round body and his head, with the weird antennae.

DA Buzz indeed knows all;
So, where is my lost Monkey Wrench gang book? Loaned it to someone on the last Grand trip and haven't seen it since!
Schutzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013   #5
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022

I do now think the spider critter is indeed a thistledown velvet ant, which is really a wasp and eats wasps. Very interesting. Everything I've found says indeed, that's what I was chasing after. They do indeed come in white!, if I could just find that Monkey Wrench gang..........
Schutzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013   #6
CWorthy's Avatar
Winter Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 110
Maybe it's with my copy of Sunk Without a Sound - I know I lent it to someone at the same time it was returned to me, but damned if I can remember who I gave it to
"I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead." - Jimmy Buffett
CWorthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2013   #7
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 599
Want to buy another Sunk? GCPBA sells them:!/~/catego...=9&sort=normal

David L is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mystery Boat - Can you help me Identify? JohnsMom Whitewater Rafting 17 09-03-2012 10:29 AM
Grand Canyon National Park: Rockslide in Canyon: Aug. 23, 2012 Andy H. The Eddy 3 08-29-2012 04:55 PM
Grand Canyon- Marble Canyon layover camp skookumchuk Whitewater Kayaking 4 09-12-2011 09:13 PM
murky water critters jboats Whitewater Kayaking 2 08-12-2010 12:06 PM
Mystery Canal RiverWrangler Whitewater Kayaking 14 03-10-2005 08:22 PM

» Classified Ads
22 designs outlaw NTN...

posted by goodnoughc

Brand new tele bindings. These are step in free-pivot. Made...

Kokatat Dry Suit, Sweet...

posted by condor

Kokatat GMER, XXL, excellent condition, well cared for, no...

Klim Heavy Duty GoreTex...

posted by River Capt D

Pants are a couple of years old and used only twice! (Yah,...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:51 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.