CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Carpenter-mimic Leaf-cutter Bee (Megachile xylocopoides)
Solitary native bee which uses patches from leaves to create nests. Similar in look to a carpenter bee, the leafcutters carry pollen on their abdomen rather than in leg baskets. Also, serves as a host for parasitic bees.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: BIDENS ALBA
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
diet: mostly insects, but as can be seen here enjoys seeds as well. Has been known to eat acorns and this week is quite fond of my loquat fruits. Nests in dead trees, so leave those SNAGS! Fascinating to watch this beauty.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: LONGLEAF PINE TREE (Pinus palustris)
My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20130206202253/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/pa-rum-pum-pum-pum-little-drummer-bird.html
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Margined Leatherwing Soldier Beetle (Chauliognathus marginatus)
Soldier Beetles feed on pollen and nectar. Adult is also predatory, possibly taking eggs?
Larva is predatory, known to attack corn earworm and corn borer.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: Marshpennywort (Hydrocotyle sp.)
My take: http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/pollinators-soldier-boy-oh-my-little-soldier-boy/
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
Bluebirds use nests boxes. They build, wait a few days and then mom starts laying eggs. One egg per day is the norm. Incubation does not begin until she has laid all her eggs. This is brood one, I expect there will be 5 eggs, as there have been in past years.
Bluebirds eat insects, fruits and seeds. They feed insects exclusively to the baby birds.
My take: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/bluebirds-staking-claim.html
Dad checking on building Feb 21, 2015
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Spring Fishfly (Chauliodes rastricornis)
Serrate Antennae is an identifying characteristic of females of the species. Males have pectinate (toothed) antenna.
Larvae aquatic, omnivorous(1); adults may not feed, though have been reported coming to moth “sugar”
(1) Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/3610
pupate on shore.
larvae reported as a predator of mosquitos (Aedes sp.) source:
http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098163/00001/25?search=chauliodes (pg. 20)
Same family as Dobsonflies (Corydalidae)