Archive

Monthly Archives: August 2013

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.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-10_jagged_ambush_bug_(Phymata_sp.).htm

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

Learn: https://web.archive.org/web/20090530211957/http://www.usamantis.com/grassmantis_species.html

KEY to Florida Mantids: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/choate/mantid_key2_03.pdf

My take on Praying mantids:  https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/praying-or-preying-mantis-or-mantids/

###

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)

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=6

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: Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly (Perithemis tenera) Male

One of the smallest dragonflies, I don’t often see the males around, but the girls are prolific.

Dragonflies are beneficial as they are predatory on pest insects in both the adult and larval stages. Larval state is aquatic and helps control mosquito larva.

Learn: http://web.archive.org/web/20170719001808/http://www.odonatacentral.org/index.php/FieldGuideAction.get/id/47478

Shown on Florida Native Sedge

###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Milkweed Assassin Bug (Zelus longipes)

No, it doesn’t attack your milkweed, it is just the same color as the pest insect commonly called a milkweed bug.

These assassins are beneficial predators of soft bodied bugs including mosquitoes, flies, earthworms, cucumber beetles and caterpillar pests (armyworm, rootworm)

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/bugs/zelus_longipes.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant Bidens alba

###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red Bay Psyllid Gall (Trioza magnoliae)

I opened up this gall to reveal these nymphs, some of which are closing in on adulthood. The green portion is the formation of the wings.

Florida Native Plant Red Bay (persea spp.) is the larval host and apparently damage to the plant is mostly cosmetic since the psyllids roll up the edges of leaves to produce the soft galls and many people find this disturbing.

The psyllids have their good points as they are parasitized by encyrtid wasps which are important insects in biocontrol. Birds are known to open the galls to eat the psyllids.

Learn: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in799

###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Dorantes Longtail Butterfly (Urbanus dorantes)

A little blurry, but this is a new “life list” butterfly for me. Long tail skippers (U. proteus) visit my place often, but I noticed something a bit different about this guy (or gal), since it didn’t have the aqua blue glow. Same genus, different species.

Larval hosts in the pea family. Probably uses beggar’s ticks (Desmodium spp.) at my place.

Learn: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Urbanus-dorantes

Shown on Florida Native Plant Bidens alba

###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Scoliid Wasp (Dielis plumipes)

syn. Campsomeris plumipes

Scoliid wasps are parasitic upon larvae of soil-inhabiting scarab beetles, so instead of fighting grubs with chemicals which may kill the wasps, let nature do its thing.

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/wasps/scoliid_wasps.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliniana)

Check out the beautiful brown and cream colored bands.

###