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Monthly Archives: September 2014

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Paper Wasps (Polistes metricus)

Paper Wasps can be agressive if you disturb the nest although I have been able to relocate nests with no problems. People with bee allergy should keep their distance. If it is in a location that people will not get too close, leave them as an efficient biocontrol agent.

I’ve many different species of Polistes and another possibility is the Northern Paper Wasp (Polistes fuscatus) Beneficial: control of pest catepillar species which they use as food for their developing larva. (think your vegetable garden) Adults also feed on fruits

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/572

Learn the habits of Polistes spp.: https://blogs.cornell.edu/insectid/files/2013/11/Paper-Wasps-1qxfw0c.pdf

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)

My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20140709140116/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/wasp-that.html

relocation tale: http://web.archive.org/web/20110629132316/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/the-wildlife-garden-fashionista.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Acanthepeira venusta (Starbellied Orbweaver)

“It is exceedingly difficult to separate some Acanthepeira specimens from the southeastern United States and it appears that three species interbreed” source: http://bugguide.net/node/view/1994

Because of the small size, I believe this is A. venusta.

Sets up web About 3-4 ft from ground daily beginning in late afternoon using the dried remains of a yellow colic root flower stem and some bluestem grasses. Has spent a couple of weeks at same location. Earlier in the day it stays stationary at the top of wildflower or dried stem.

Found eating stink bugs early on more than one day.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bluestem Grass(Andropogon sp)

Diet: insects

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/1994

My take: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/new-spider-in-my-life.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: American Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginensis)

They’re backkkkkkkk. Sometimes the common name is given as American (Painted) Lady; True “painted lady” butterfly (V. cardui) has different laval hosts and eyespot count is one key to identification. See composite photos for identification: http://bugguide.net/node/view/236368

Range: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Vanessa-virginiensis?quicktabs_8=0#quicktabs-8

Larval host: cudweed aka Everylasting. In my yard: Delicate Everlasting (Gamochaeta antillana) a Florida native cudweed. (syn. Gnaphalium spp.); Possibly pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea), plantain-leaved pussy toes (Antennaria plantaginifolia), wormwood (Artemisia), ironweed (Vernonia), and burdock (Arctium).

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=35

caterpillar: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/american-lady-butterfly-caterpillar-vanessa-virginiensis/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My take: http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/make-a-butterfly-everlasting/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Florida Viceroy Butterfly (Limenitis archippus floridensis)

Florida subspecies has a darker color mimicing queen butterfly. Other states it is lighter to mimic monarch (http://bugguide.net/node/view/548)

Range: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Limenitis-archippus?quicktabs_8=0#quicktabs-8

Larval host: Various willows (Salix spp.), possibly poplar and cottonwood (Populus); apple (Malus) and cherry (Prunus)

Adults feed on dung (ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww)

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=39

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Caterpillar: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/viceroy-butterfly-caterpillar-limenitis-archippus/

My take: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/viceroy-butterfly-puts-up-a-smokescreen.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Horace’s Duskywing Butterfly (Erynnis horatius)

New member of my buggy life list. This one is a female (thanks @andyBugGuy for identification confirm)

Range: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Erynnis-horatius?quicktabs_8=0#quicktabs-8

Larval host: Various oaks (Quercus spp.) including Myrtle Oak (Quercus myrtifolia), Water Oak (Quercus nigra), Live Oak (Quercus virginiana), and Turkey Oak (Quercus laevis)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

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