CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Skipperling (Copaeodes minima)

Many thanks to @AndyBugGuy for the confirmed identification of this female.

North America’s smallest Skipper.

Learn:  https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Copaeodes-minima

Larval host: grasses

Learn more: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=48

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

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/skip-skip-skip-to-my-lou/

From 2011 laying eggs:



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Green anole is the only anole species native to the U.S. They compete with exotics for territory and you can help them by planting taller shrubbery. The natives are willing to climb up higher than the brown anole, so if you provide this type of habitat they will stand a better chance.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-19_lizard_green_anole.htm


Diet: insects and spiders

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/nature-knows-bestthe-little-lizard-who-could/


From 2016:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaffooted Bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus)

May be a pest of fruit bearing trees and shrubs but has a place in the circle of life.

eggs feed parasitoids including important pollinators such as chalacid and other parasitic wasps (Gryon spp. and Ooencyrtus sp.)
egg predators include: fire ants and tree crickets.
adult predators include spiders.

Learn: http://sites.duke.edu/dukeinsects/insect-orders/hemiptera/leptoglossus-phyllopus

Mating pair and Learn more: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/leaffooted-bug-leptoglossus-phyllopus-mating/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: NUTTALL’S THISTLE (Cirsium nuttallii)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)

VERY vocal birds but quite secretive.  You’ll often hear them but not see them.

I was lucky a few years back to have them nest in one of my pine snags using an old woodpecker’s hole.  Since the snags have disintegrated, they also routinely give the bluebird box a once over as a potential nesting site, but realize that the hole is too small for them.

Learn: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Crested_Flycatcher/id

Shown on Florida native plant SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE (Myrica cerifera) in a tangle of MUSCADINE {GRAPE} (Vitis rotundifolia)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Citrine Forktail Damselfly (Ischnura hastata)

smallest damselfly in North America. Predatory in both larval and adult stages.

female based on coloring.

“Females become olive with maturity, with all abdominal segments dorsally black.” source: http://www.giffbeaton.com/ponddamsels.htm

Adult Diet: Tiny flying insects

Learn: http://www.odonatacentral.org/index.php/FieldGuideAction.get/id/43072

Learn more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/597

Shown on Florida Native Plant: VIRGINIA PEPPERWEED (Lepidium virginicum)

My take:
Ladies of the Day


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