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It's probably the larval state of a tortoise beetle, or a closely related beetle. They are known to build a "faecal shield" at the end of their tail, sometimes including shed exoskeleton and any debris that sticks to it. They hold this shield over their bodies for defensive purposes that aren't well understood. Lacewing larva look somewhat similar and also ...


The defense of the honey bee, having a barbed stinger which continues to pump venom even after the bee is swatted away by the intruder, (be it a human or a bear or other animal), is called "sting autonomy." When defending against a large mammal, the more stings the more likely to have an impact. The reason the honey bee colony can afford to lose many guard ...


The species from the photo is almost definitely a Catamiarus brevipennis. The bulged and striped abdomen The non-striped legs The unique pattern on the wings The antenna thick at the beginning and becomes thinner towards the end. The protonum also has a unique granular structure unique to Catamiarus brevipennis. Source : India Biodiversity Portal


I've been emailing some of the various researchers who worked on the papers I've cited. Jeremy Thomas and Judith Wardlaw both took time out of their (probably very busy!) schedules to reply, and they sent me very detailed replies as well as copies of papers I didn't have access to. Thanks to their replies, I'm in a position to post an answer to my own ...

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