CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Cypress Emerald Moth (Nemoria elfa)

Cypress Emerald Moth

Family Geometridae (Geometrid Moths)
Subfamily Geometrinae (Emeralds)
Tribe Nemoriini

New to my buggy life list. My encounter was submitted and accepted to add this species to the Osceola county Florida checklist at butterfliesandmoths.com https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sighting_details/1154975

This tiny beauty was seeking moisture on my kitchen sponge.

larval hosts:  SWEETGUM (Liquidambar styraciflua) (source: Natural History Museum, London)

“reported (Ferguson 1985) as being reared on sweetgum leaves (Liquidambar styraciflua), but the more common host plant appears to be baldcypress (Taxodium distichum). Wagner’s Field Guide to Eastern caterpillars gives the species the name Cypress Emerald and reports baldcypress as the host plant.”

Learn: http://moths.friendscentral.org/nemoria-elfa.html



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Carpenter-mimic Leaf-cutter Bee (Megachile xylocopoides)

Black Leaf Cutter Bee

Subgenus Melanosarus.

Solitary native bee which uses patches from leaves to create nests. Similar in look to a carpenter bee, the leafcutters carry pollen on their abdomen rather than in leg baskets. Also, serves as a host for parasitic bees.

Learn: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Megachile+xylocopoides#Hosts

Key: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/HallG/Melitto/floridabees/melanosarus.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  OAKLEAF FLEABANE (Erigeron quercifolius)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:   Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)

Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)

I removed the sheet from the water system to find this guy hiding on the softener tank.  It’s been several years since I have seen one of these Florida native treefrogs.

Diet:  Beetles, crickets, caterpillars, beetle larvae, stinkbugs, other small invertebrates.

Learn:  http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/greentreefrog.shtml


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: 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/