CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Jagged Ambush Bug (Phymata fasciata)
Predatory; Beneficial with their big chunky “arms”. Although they sometimes grab other beneficials, they aren’t fussy and will do in thrips and other pest insects. To me they always look like they are smiling.
Here is a nymph shown on a Florida Native Plant Giant Ironweed.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Grass-like Mantid (Thesprotia graminis)
Thin, praying mantis. I saw it fly so it must be male. males have long wings; females don’t fly.
Diet: small flying insects and crickets
KEY to Florida Mantids: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/choate/mantid_key2_03.pdf
My take on Praying mantids: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/praying-or-preying-mantis-or-mantids.html
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio glaucus)
This photo was taken through my kitchen window. If you look closely, you’ll see a Green Lynx spider lurking.
Larval hosts: Wild cherry (Prunus serotina), sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana), white ash (Fraxinus americana)
Shown on a Florida Native Plant Carolina Redroot.
Photo of underside from Sept 2011 on Florida Native Plant Bidens alba:
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Carolina Saddlebags Dragonfly (Tramea carolina)
These guys and gals are always perching about 5-6 feet off the ground and surprisingly away from the pond area. Leave some tall, dried vegetation or thin dead branches as a landing site.
Shown on a dead stem of Florida Native Plant Elderberry.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Band-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata)
Shown on Florida Native Sedge
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
I was thrill to see this tall beauty standing on the tussock in the middle of my pond.
Diet: fish, frogs, reptiles, small mammals, insects, birds
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Black and Yellow Mud Dauber (Sceliphron caementarium)
As name implies, they make their nests out of mud. They bring in spiders to lay their eggs on. adults take nectar.
Shown on Florida Native Plant Bidens alba