CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Metallic Wood-boring Beetle (Acmaeodera pulchella)

Common names: Flat-headed Bald Cypress Sapwood Borer
Yellow-marked Buprestid beetle

adults found on maple, persimmon, oak, and a variety of flowers (bugguide)

Range: http://www.fsca-dpi.org/Coleoptera/Mike/buprest.htm

Larval host: Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), Locust (Gleditsia spp.), BALD-CYPRESS (Taxodium spp.) source: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2934

Larval host: Yucca sp. and Eriocaulon sp.
Learn: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098813/00232/25?search=acmaeodera+pulchella

Hosts for Adults: Opuntia sp., primrose, dandelion, Rudbechia hurta, Ceanothus americanus, Asclepias tuberosa (Chamberlin 1926:33); composite flowers (Vogt 1949:195); Coreopsis palmata, Heliopsis helianthoides, Ratibida pinnata, Rudbeckia hirta (Westcott, et al. 1979:177); Carduus nutans, Erigeron sp., Hibiscus sp., Ludwigia alternifolia, Rudbeckia missouriensis, R. triloba, Ruellia strepens (Nelson 1987:58).
Larval host: Taxodium distichum (Chamberlin 1926:33).

Shown on Florida Native Plant: BLACKEYED SUSAN (Rudbeckia hirta)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Brown-winged Striped-Sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens)

A member of the Halictidae family. also referred to as sweat bees. This one is male.

“Adult halictids eat nectar, and collect nectar and pollen for the larvae. All halictids are mass provisioners, that is, the adults provision each cell with all the food (pollen and nectar) a larva will need until it emerges.” source: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in897

Learn to identify: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Agapostemon+splendens

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

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Antlion (likely Myrmeleon sp.)

Order Neuroptera – Antlions, Owlflies, Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies
Suborder Myrmeleontiformia – Antlions and Owlflies
Family Myrmeleontidae

Predacious in larval stage and some species in adult stage.

Antlions stay in larval stage from 1 to 3 years. This stage is commonly called doodle bugs. Larvae dig a shallow cone-shaped pit in sand and wait at the bottom for an ant or other insect to slip on the loose sand and fall in.

Adults eat nectar, pollen and some adult species feed on caterpillars and aphids. These weak flyers are usually nocturnal.

General learning link:  https://www.antlionpit.com/antlions.html

“The adults of this genus and many other groups can be found during the day on dry grasses and dry bush stems….”

“All of the Florida species belong to the subfamily Myrmeleontinae.”

source: Checklist and Bibliography of the Megaloptera and Neuroptera of Florida: http://www.fsca-dpi.org/Neuroptera/Neuroptera_of_Florida.htm

Shown on dried sedge.

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/garden-pests-invite-the-myrmeleontiformias/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Tumblebug Dung Beetle (Canthon sp.)

New to my buggy life list.

Family Scarabaeidae – Scarab Beetles
Subfamily Scarabaeinae – Dung Beetles
Tribe Canthonini

4 species listed on the Florida Checklist: https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Florida-State-Collection-of-Arthropods/Explore-the-Collection/Insect-Collection/Coleoptera/Florida-Beetle-Checklist/Suborder-Polyphaga/Series-Scarabaeiformia/Superfamily-Scarabaeiformia/Scarabaeidae

“dung-rollers, apparently. Adults found on dung, and sometimes on carrion.
Keying species is rather difficult from photographs.”

Learn:   https://bugguide.net/node/view/4033

Learn more:  https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/wakullaco/2013/09/06/dung-beetles-make-use-of-animal-droppings/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Io Moth (Automeris io)

This beauty was resting on the kitchen door at night.

Adults do not feed

Larval host: multiple plants, “A variety of plants including hackberry (Celtis), willow (Salix), mesquite (Prosopis), redbud (Cercis), currant (Ribes), blackberry (Rubus), and pear (Pyrus)”

Learn/Range: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Automeris-io

Eyespots are HUGE on the underwings.

Learn: entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/io_moth.htm

Caterpillars are of the “stinging” type:  https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/io-moth-caterpillars-automeris-io/

Io Moth (Automeris io)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Ichneumon Wasp (Anomalon sp.)

Apparently these wasps are difficult to identify down to species and since they are miniscule I can understand why.  A. ejuncidum is the only species listed by The University of Florida’s Natural Area Teaching Laboratory

Parasites of the larva of Coleoptera (beetles) and possibly Lepidoptera (butterfly/moth)

Learn: http://natl.ifas.ufl.edu/biota/ichneumon_wasps.php

Learn more: https://bugguide.net/node/view/348341

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/balance-in-the-garden-ichneumon-parasitic-wasp/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Clay-colored Leaf Beetle (Anomoea laticlavia)

Order Coleoptera – Beetles
Suborder Polyphaga – Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles
No Taxon Series Cucujiformia
Superfamily Chrysomeloidea – Long-horned and Leaf Beetles
Family Chrysomelidae – Leaf Beetles
Subfamily Cryptocephalinae – Case-bearing Leaf Beetles
Tribe Clytrini
Subtribe Clytrina

Feeds on a variety of forbs and shrubs: Lespedeza; Honey Locust, Gleditsia tricanthos; Willow, Salix; Oak, Quercus; Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana; Ragweed, Ambrosia.

larvae are myrmecophiles having an association with ants of the genus Formica.

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/10195

Larva are connected with ants` nests. (leb.daba.lv/36-m1.pdf )

“The first of the three main study insects, Anomoea laticlavia (Forster), is a large (6-8 mm) yellow and black beetle (Chrysomelidae, Clytrinae), which consumes material from both immature inflorescences and young vegetative tissue. This beetle often feeds in one area of a raceme for several hours, creating a pit where many immature flowers are destroyed. Amorpha fruticosa L. (Fabaceae, false indigo) is the only other local plant on which I have observed A. laticlavia, but Dillon and Dillon (1961) report its presence on several other species, including Lespedeza spp. (Fabaceae, bush clover), Ambrosia spp.
(Asteraceae, ragweed), Ceanothus americanus L. (Rhamnaceae, Jersey tea), Gledistia triacanthos L. (Caesalpiniaceae, honey locust), and Salix spp. (Salicaceae, willow).”

(source:  Lewis, Cassandra Kasun. “The effects of habitat fragmentation on Amorpha canescens, a prairie forb, and its associated herbivores.” CHAPTER II MATERIALS AND METHODS page 7
MS (Master of Science) thesis, University of Iowa, 1999.
https://doi.org/10.17077/etd.hqqpsj7e

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

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