Archive

Monthly Archives: July 2015

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Flea Beetle (Kuschelina floridana)

New to my life list. Identification based on the fact that it was feeding on BLUEHEARTS which is a also a member of the OROBANCHACEAE family (bugguide.net noted two other genus that are noted as larval hosts http://bugguide.net/node/view/25664/bgimage).

Learn: http://www.aaes.auburn.edu/comm/pubs/bulletins/beetles/kuschelina.php#floridana

Shown on Florida Native Plant: AMERICAN BLUEHEARTS (Buchnera americana)

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

Adult is a mimic of the milkweed butterflies (Monarch and Queen).

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

subspecies info: http://bugguide.net/node/view/548

Larval host: Larvae feed mainly on leaves of willow (Salix) and poplar and cottonwood (Populus); other hosts include apple (Malus) and cherry (Prunus) (source: bugguide.net)

Adults feed on: Early in the season when few flowers are available Viceroys feed on aphid honeydew, carrion, dung, and decaying fungi. Later generations feed more often at flowers, favoring composites including aster, goldenrod, joe-pye weed, shepherds needle, and Canada thistle (SOURCE: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Limenitis-archippus)

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

Shown on Florida Native Plant: MUSCADINE {GRAPE} (Vitis rotundifolia)

My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20121018012351/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/viceroy-butterfly-puts-up-a-smokescreen.html

Dorsal view shown on Florida Native Plant: LAUREL OAK; DIAMOND OAK (Quercus laurifolia)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Air Potato Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris cheni)

It’s HERE!!!!!! My first encounter with this beetle. I just emailed the coordinates to the USDA as requested in the information sheet from UF Entomology.

Introduced as biocontrol for the highly invasive Air potato vine (Dioscorea bulbifera). Feeds exclusively on this non-native species of plant.

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/BENEFICIAL/BEETLES/air_potato_leaf_beetle.htm

If you have air potato vines in your area, you can apply to receive beetles for release: http://bcrcl.ifas.ufl.edu/airpotatofiles/airpotatoforms.shtml

Shown on Florida Native Plant: SAWTOOTH BLACKBERRY; PENNSYLVANIA BLACKBERRY (Rubus pensilvanicus)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus punctatus) NON-VENOMOUS, lays eggs. Must be snake week at my place. This is new for my reptile life list. Little and thin so perhaps a hatchling. I nearly missed it on the patio. not the best photo, he was hellbent on getting under the steps once he saw me with a camera.

Learn: http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/diapun.htm

Diet: small earthworms, slugs, frogs, anoles, geckos, skinks, snakes, and salamanders (source: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-snakes/list/diadophis-punctatus-punctatus/)

ricknecksnakeJuly2015A###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) NON-VENOMOUS, live-bearing. Tanner the English setter found this guy this morning amid some spanish needles, invasive ferns, azaleas, desmodium sp. I could see he was interested in something beyond sticks. He didn’t bother with it and it didn’t bother with him. These are pretty snakes with a hint of blue coloring.

From personal observation I have seen one of these attempt to eat a cuban treefrog (resulting in death of the treefrog YAY!!!). I’m hoping it continues this diet, although I’m pretty sure it is more enamoured with the southern toads under the house. My take: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/talk-about-stuffedthe-things-i-find-in-my-garden.html (NOT FOR THE FEINT OF HEART).

Learn: http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/thasir.htm

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-snakes/list/thamnophis-sirtalis-sirtalis/

Diet: earthworms, small fishes, frogs, and salamanders

gartersnakeJuly2015Full###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)

This beneficial gal was just starting to construct her nest. To provision the nest where she will lay one egg, she will gather 1-12 caterpillars and/or beetle larva which she paralizes . Potter wasps can sting but are not aggressive and do not defend their nests. Natural biocontrol at its best.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-30_potter_wasp_eumenes.htm

My take: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/ooops-anatomy-of-a-potter-wasp-nest.html

This was the nest 2.5 hours later:

potterwaspnestJuly2015

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

This beauty was standing on a the original pond bank which will soon disappear when the rains come. Flew over and landed on the tussock before fleeing the area.

Learn: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Green_Heron/lifehistory

Diet: consists mainly of fish but can include insects and frogs and other invertebrates.

Shown standing amongst Florida Native Plants: COMBLEAF MERMAIDWEED (Proserpinaca pectinata) (and others)
against a backdrop of AMERICAN WHITE WATERLILY (Nymphaea odorata)

My take: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/being-green-in-the-wildlife-garden.html

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