CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronatagal)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

a.k.a. Butter Butt.

Diet: insects, bayberry, seeds

“The Yellow-rumped Warbler is the only warbler able to digest the waxes found in bayberries and wax myrtles.”

Learn: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-rumped_Warbler/lifehistory

Are they on their way out? https://www.allaboutbirds.org/goodbye-yellow-rump-will-we-see-a-return-to-myrtle-and-audubons-warblers/

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE (Myrica cerifera)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/warblers-if-one-is-a-butterbutt-should-the-other-be-a-butterhead/



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)

Main Diet consists primarily of insects; occasional fruit, seed;

Learn: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Phoebe/id

Shown on Florida Native Plant: AMERICAN SYCAMORE; AMERICAN PLANETREE (Platanus occidentalis)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/this-birds-a-lone-wolf/


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)

Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)

Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)

Potter wasps can sting but are not aggressive and do not defend their nests. They use caterpillars as a host which they collect and place in brood pots created from mud.  Natural biocontrol at its best.

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-30_potter_wasp_eumenes.htm

Photos of nest pots: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/potter-wasp-eumenes-fraternus/

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/ooops-anatomy-of-a-potter-wasp-nest/


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio cresphontes)

Drying wings early in the morning.

Florida Native Larval Hosts: wild lime (Zanthoxylum fagara), Hercules club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis), hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata)

Non-native host: various cultivated and ornamental citrus (Citrus spp.)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE (Myrica cerifera)

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=8

Larval host: in my yard is WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara) and non-native Meyer Lemon (Citrus sp.) although since I planted the native species they don’t tend to use the citrus much.

My take: http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/awakening-giant-swallowtail.html

egg: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/giant-swallowtail-butterfly-papilio-cresphontes-egg/

caterpillar: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/giant-swallowtail-butterfly-caterpillar-papilio-cresphontes-4/


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Common Oblique Syrphid Fly (Allograpta obliqua)

Also commonly called hover fly or flower fly.  Adults pollinate

larvae are important predators, feeding primarily on aphids. “When larval populations are high they may reduce aphid populations by 70 to 100%”

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/hover_fly.htm

In turn the larvae is a food source for several species of wasps.

How to distinguish species: https://bugguide.net/node/view/289

Shown on Florida Native Plant: GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia)

Common Oblique Syrphid (Allograpta obliqua)

My take: Don’t Swat that Fly


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Great Pondhawk Dragonfly (Erythemis vesiculosa)

Great Pondhawk (Erythemis vesiculosa)

New to my buggy lifelist. Dragonflies are predatory in both adult and larval stages. Leave some taller, dry plant debris from your Florida native plants as perches. This species tends to fly low to the ground.

Diet: insects, aquatic larvae such as mosquitoes

Learn: http://www.odonatacentral.org/index.php/FieldGuideAction.get/id/46983

Adult Key to the Odonate Families of Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in632

Shown on Florida native plant: PILLPOD SANDMAT (Euphorbia hirta)

My take:



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar (Estigmene acrea)

Native hosts include Dogfennel, Pillpod Sandmat and other potentially aggressive species.

Serves as a host for other species such as tachinid flies and Hymenopterans (Bees, Wasps and Sawflies) which parasitized the eggs/larvae.

Larvae feed on a variety of plants including “cash crops”, so not a favorite with farmers.

Coloring can be highly variable: http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=8131

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/3242

Learn more: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/saltmarsh_caterpillar.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: PILLPOD SANDMAT (Euphorbia hirta)