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Monthly Archives: December 2013

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

These birds were dancing around the yard amid Bidens alba, Sida spp., bluestem grasses, wax myrtles and more.

Learn: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-rumped_Warbler/id

Shown on Florida Native Plant: SIDA spp. within a grouping of Bidens alba

My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20131024234615/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/warblers-if-one-is-a-butterbutt-should-the-other-be-a-butterhead.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Mischievous Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca damnifica)

This guy was hanging out in the deceased red cedar tree. Don’t think pest, think bird food!

Learn: https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066916/00001 “Grasshoppers of Florida” from UF IFAS has good details about grasshoppers in general.

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Whirligig Beetle (Family Gyrinidae)

Note his friend the fishing spider (to the left) sharing the plant.

This insect travels at dizzying speeds across the water. I’ve watched them for years but this is the first I ever saw one rest on vegetation.

Because of the small size I believe this is in the Gyrinus Genus.

It may just be a small Dineutus spp. although I think I see the scutellum in the picture below. They say it is concealed in Dieutus. A defense mechanism for these beetles is to give off an apple odor giving them another common name of apple bug.

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/95

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Redheaded Pine Sawfly larvae (Neodiprion lecontei)

As the common name indicates, these are a pest of pine trees. On a different note, they are not Diptera, but a member of Hymenoptera which includes bees, ants and wasps.

For some reason, these guys were lost and three were discovered on my Red Cedar that had unceremoniously died in late August from reasons unknown. Perhaps they are looking for a place to spin a cocoon. although they generally make cocoons in the soil. The fact sheet notes that if flooding presents a problem they may also use needles, limbs and trunk of the tree. My yard is known for occasional flooding.

Learn: http://www.forestry.state.al.us/Pine_Sawflies.aspx?bv=3&s=1

My take: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/caterpillar-gangs-i-dont-panic.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)

At this stage, this fish really doesn’t live up to the “Large”mouth. He is rather small, maybe 2.5 inches long. A little too large to be a “fry”, perhaps juvenile describes it best. A fish native to Florida, they can take on coloration based on the water they are in.

“Largemouth bass may consume small fish, insects, mosquitoes, blackfly larvae, mayfly nymphs, worms, adult insects, mussels, crayfish, snails, tadpoles, frogs, small fish, salamanders, mice, turtles. In general largemouth bass feed at all hours, but most often in the early morning or late in the day. In some cases, the prey is not completely swallowed up initially; it is caught and held in the jaws and then it is sucked in.”

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/LargemouthBass/LargemouthBass.html

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/pondering-new-residents-in-the-garden/

closeup of tail (he was swimming so fast I missed his head)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Groundselbush Beetle Larvae (caterpillar) (Trirhabda bacharidis)

Larval host: Saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia).

Not the most attractive as adults, but this larvae certainly is eyecatching. I have watched wasps zero in on this important resource to gather as a host for their eggs and provide food for their own larvae.

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/77596

Shown on Florida Native Plant: a male saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Milky Urola Moth (Argyria lacteella)

New for my life list!

When I first photographed this moth, I assumed it was a snowy urola moth (Urola nivalis), which is common in my garden. Only while I was cropping the photo did I noticed subtle differences including the spots on the wings. Shows the importance of noticing tiny details when determining insect identification.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: a male saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia)
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