CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Black stink bug (Proxys punctulatus)
polyphagous: Feeding on many different kinds of food
Not as damaging to food crops as other stink bugs and can be predaceous on other insects.
Shown on Florida Native Plant BLUEJACKET; OHIO SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia ohiensis)
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/it-just-stinksor-does-it/
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Gallinipper Mosquito (Psorophora ciliata)
I was informed that this one is newly emerging. Psorophora ciliata is one of the few mosquito species whose larvae are predaceous to other mosquito larvae, so I suppose if you are going to have mosquitos, this is the one to have. I never realized how fancy a headdress mosquitos had 🙂
Shown on Florida Native Plant Ironweed (Vernonia gigantea)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar (Papilio cresphontes)
Larval hosts are in the citrus family. Florida Native Plants include WILD LIME (Zanthoxylum fagara), Hercules club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) and hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata).
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar (Orgyia leucostigma)
Contact with hairs may cause an allergic reaction. At first glance I thought the lumps on its back were parasoids, but turns out they are little scrub brush type appendages.
Shown on EARLEAF GREENBRIER (Smilax auriculata).
198 Larval hosts are listed for Neartic in the HOSTS database yet Smilax spp. isn’t one of them so maybe he was just using it as a highway to find a food source.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Watermilfoil Leafcutter Moth (Parapoynx allionealis)
Landed on Florida Native Plant Spadeleaf (Centella asiatica) a low growing wetland plant.
Caterpillars feed on various aquatic plants, e.g. white waterlily (Nymphaea odorata), floating pondweed (Potamogeton natans), small pondweed (P. pusillus), Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), broadleaf watermilfoil (M. heterophyllum), southern watergrass (Hydrochtoa caroliniensis), spikerush (Eleocharis vivipara, floating bladderwort (Utricularia inflata), and salvinia (Salvinia rotundifolia)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Plume Moth (Pterophoridae Family)
Small and thin, most look like a “T” when at rest.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Prominent Moth Caterpillar (Datana spp.)
This gang was decimating my Rusty Lyonia (Lyonia fruticosa), a larval host that wasn’t listed so I need to investigate further to determine exact species.
I handpicked most of them off but left a couple for future generations.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red-waisted Florella Moth (Syngamia florella)
A flower moth. Often lands under leaves as well. Show on Florida Native Plant: Bidens Alba
Larval hosts as listed in the HOSTS database are: Spermacoce spp. (buttonweed)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Black-dotted Spragueia Moth (Spragueia onagrus)
Larval hosts as listed in the HOSTS database are: Baccharis halimifolia, Castanea pumila, Zea mays (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/research/projects/hostplants/search/index.dsml)
In my yard that would be the Baccharis Halimifolia aka Groundselbush or Saltbush.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Stilt Bug (Family: Berytidae)
A True Bug, in the Berytidae Family (seems difficult to identify beyond family based on bugguide entries)
Feeds on plants with minimal damage so not considered a pest. I see them often on grasses. Jumpy
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Regal Jumping Spider (Phidippus regius)
This is a female orange form. Males are black/white with blue eyes. They don’t use webs, but do use silk.
VERY beneficial. Will catch grasshoppers and other pests, including the juvenile invasive cuban treefrog shown here. Good Girl!!
I found her eating when I opened up the timer of my water system to restart it. Often the treefrogs will short out the timer and I have found the spiders nesting in the cover on many occasions. I guess they know where to find an easy meal.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Spurge Spanworm Moth (Oxydia vesulia)
Wingspan about 2 inches. larvae feed on Citrus
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Crab Spider (Thomisidae family)
I initially thought this was a Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) one of the Flower Crab spiders, but now I am leaning toward one of the Mecaphesa spp.
At any rate, these spiders always make me think they are doing aerobics. Shown on Bahia Grass seedhead
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Metallic Green Bee (Agapostemon splendens)
Shown on Florida Native Plant Spanish Needles (Bidens Alba)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Groundselbush Beetle (Trirhabda bacharidis)
Larval host: Saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia).
While not the most attractive of adult insects, the larvae (shown below) is beautiful and I have watched wasps zero in on this important resource to gather for nesting to lay their eggs and provide food for their larvae.
Larvae from December 2009:
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Duskywings Butterfly (Erynnis spp.)
A spread-wing Skippers (Pyrginae).
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Twinflagged Jumping Spider (Anasaitis canosa)
Must be jumping at my place. Second “new to me” species of jumping spider in the past month.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Large Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus)
pest of milkweed. Easily controlled by squishing nymphs when observed on the plant. Their bright orange color makes them easily seen.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)
one of the Milkweed Butterflies (Tribe Danaini)
shown nectaring on the Florida Native Plant WINGED LOOSESTRIFE (Lythrum alatum var. lanceolatum)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly (Perithemis tenera)
A species of dragonfly in family Libellulidae. It is very small, reaching a total length of no more than 25mm. The males have orange or amber wings. Both genders have a red pterostigma.
shown on the seedhead of Florida Native Plant Bidens Alba
Learn Key to Florida Dragonflies: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in632