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Monthly Archives: April 2014

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Toad (Anaxyrus terrestris)

Diet: Ants, bees, beetles, crickets, roaches, snails, and other invertebrates.

If you look closely at the photo, to the left of the head you can see a dragonfly nymph (might be exuvia). The scientific name use to be Bufo terrestris.

Learn: http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/southerntoad.shtml

The following photo of the back really shows the prominent crests and oval glands which distinquish it from the invasive Cane Toad.

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Bagworm Moth Caterpillar (Psyche casta)

These moth caterpillars adorn themselves with various organic materials including leaf debris, constructing a protective case

out of them. What you find may not be the pupal stage (this one is actively feeding), although they also pupate inside the

“bag”.

Some host on lichens, others, such as this species, on plant material.

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/122

My take: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/its-in-the-bagin-the-garden.html

Shown on Florida Native Plant: MEXICAN PRIMROSEWILLOW (Ludwigia octovalvis)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Yellow Fly of the Dismal Swamp (Diachlorus ferrugatus)

I can attest that this one is a female. females BITE! I suffered through it because I really wanted a photo 😀
After I got the photo, I went over, stripped off some fresh bayberry leaves and rubbed them on my leg. She quickly left me alone.

Order: Diptera. Subfamily Tabaninae – Horse Flies

I take exception to the common name chosen by Bugguide. My swamp is HARDLY dismal LOL

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/livestock/yellow_fly.htm

Shown on New York Native female shin.

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Bee Fly (Anthrax georgicus)

Diptera. Adults mimic bees, feeding on nectar. Larva is a parasite of tiger beetle larvae.

“Anthrax georgicus lay their eggs at the entrance of larval burrows of 2nd- and 3rd-instar tiger beetles. The fly larvae attach themselves externally, often at the thorax or at the 5th abdominal segment, and slowly feed until the 3rd-instar host approaches maturity. At this point, the Anthrax larva hastens its development, killing and consuming the host. They are considered parasitoids because they do kill their host, whereas true parasites technically dont.”
source: http://beetlesinthebush.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/id-challenge-11/

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/95586

Shown on Florida Native Plant: SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE (Myrica cerifera)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

This is a male.

Cardinals eat mostly seeds and fruit. At my place favorites include Wings Sumac, Wax Myrtle and the seeds of Bidens Alba (Spanish Needles). They do supplment diet with insects and feed mostly insects to nestlings.

This guy was looking at my empty planter. Perhaps he is planting a seed?

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

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