Archive

Monthly Archives: February 2014

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carlinensis)

Considered a foe by many. They are cute and their antics are captivating.

Oddly enough, this is the first squirrel I’ve seen on my property and I’ve been here since 2006. I have mostly Longleaf Pines, but an oak sapling was half bent over when I got here so I staked it and it has grown into a beautiful tree which began producing quantities of acorns this year (prior years they were few and far between).

So, the old “plant it and they will come” seems to hold true. Now I hope he doesn’t start being devilish.

Learn: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/mammals/land/squirrels/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: LONGLEAF PINE (Pinus palustris)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Jelly Blob (Bryozoan)

Bryozoans are aquatic animals and those in fresh water are in the Phylactolaemata Class.

They filter water and can be an indicator of good water quality. A beneficial creature which inhabits lakes that have lots of food. they eat diatoms and algae.

Learn: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehadm/swimming/bryozoan.html

Learn more: http://web.archive.org/web/20160430090714/http://www.wright.edu/~tim.wood/bryozoans.html

My take: The Blob and the Beginning of Winter
http://web.archive.org/web/20120115145123/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/the-blob-and-the-beginning-of-winter.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

It’s the start of nesting season and the territorial fights have begun. I already see a pair building a nest in the live oak tree just over the fenceline on the lot next door.

As you can see, this one is enjoying the drupes of winged sumac. They are big berry eaters especially in the winter months, also enjoy Dahoon holly berries. Insects are also a favorite in the spring/summer and I have seen them chase down snakes.

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

My take: http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/mockingbird-melodious-but-mean/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Winged Sumac (Rhus copallinum)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Elongate Twig Ant (Pseudomyrmes gracilis)

aka Mexican Twig Ant “feeds on live insects (especially lepidopteran larvae), fungus spores, and tends aphids for honeydew”

STINGS!

Learn: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in752

I spotted this guy walking on the gate, shown on the rope that secures the gate. I can’t quite make out what insect it is carrying around.

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2020/02/26/ant-supermodels-in-the-garden/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Lovebug (Plecia nearctica)

This one is male. January sighting is odd timing. They usually show up twice a year around May and October.

Oddly enough it is a beneficial insect because in the larval stage it is a “decomposer”: recycling organic matter. It also works as a pollinator in the adult stage.

Probably it is better known as a pest species with regard to the swarming and damage to car paint and clogging of radiator grills, etc.

Learn more: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-37_lovebugs.htm

Article to dispel some myths: https://entomologytoday.org/2014/05/12/no-lovebugs-were-not-created-by-scientists/

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