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Monthly Archives: August 2015

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly (Phoebis sennae)

This one is male. I observe that these butterflies seem to prefer red flowers for a nectar source, although I do also see them at the Bidens alba. This one was flitting between the honeysuckle (shown) and some red salvia.

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=15

Larval host: Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), sensitive pea (C. nictitans), sicklepod senna (Senna obtusifolia), also non-native coffee senna (S. occidentalis), candle plant (S. alata)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: CORAL HONEYSUCKLE (Lonicera sempervirens)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/are-you-what-you-eat-in-the-wildlife-garden/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Dark Flower Scarab Beetle (Euphoria sepulcralis)

These beetles are pollinators.

“The adults feed on tree sap, a wide variety of ripening fruits, corn, and the flowers of apple, thistle, mock orange, milkweed, dogwood, sumac, yarrow, daisies, and goldenrod.” Ratcliffe (1991)

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/beetles/Euphoria_sepulcralis.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: ROUGH BONESET (Eupatorium pilosum)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) with prey

Looks like this gal grabbed a Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) for lunch. Don’t be too quick to choose one species over another. Balance is important, so be accepting of all predator/prey interactions. This spider does not construct a web, captures prey by grabbing it when it gets close. Lil miss skippy just got too close 😉

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-48_green_lynx_spider.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Spanish needles (Bidens alba)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red-banded Hairstreak Butterfly (Calycopis cecrops)

Eggs are laid on fallen leaves. If you are overly tidy in the garden, you won’t attract this beauty.

Only Florida butterfly to utilize detritus (leaf litter) as larval food from wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), sumac (Rhus spp.) and the highly invasive and prohibited (in FL) Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=21

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Spanish needles (Bidens alba)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Spotless Lady Beetle (Cycloneda sanguinea)

a.k.a. Blood-Red Ladybird Beetle

Native.
Diet: aphids.

Keep in mind that Not all ladybugs without spots are native. Harmonia is an introduced species which can outcompete our natives, especially the species in the photo. (source: https://esa.confex.com/esa/2001/techprogram/paper_1422.htm)

If you buy ladybugs, check what species you are introducing. Many sold commercially are non-native species.

Learn: http://susanleachsnyder.com/GopherTortoisePreserve/Insect%20Order%20Coleoptera.html#Spot

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20150203103908/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/there-are-different-types-of-ladybugs.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Helmeted Squash Bug (Euthochtha galeator)

One of the leaf-footed bugs. Said to cause damage to citrus, but I’ve yet to find any on my citris, they seem to stick with other plants such as Bidens alba and grasses which don’t reflect any damage.

biocontrol: Eggs may be paratizes by chalicid wasps and adults are attacked by a tachinid fly (Trichopoda pennipes), so don’t use pesticides which would kill the beneficials who control these guys.

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/flowers/euthochtha_galeator.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

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