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Monthly Archives: June 2016

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus)

The unique shape of this raptor makes it unmistakable in flight. It builds nests in treetops of sticks such as cypress or pine, lined with lichen and spanish moss.

Diet: “primarily eat flying insects, but during the breeding season they also hunt small vertebrates, including tree frogs, lizards, nestling birds, and snakes. Less commonly, they also eat bats, small fish, and fruit.”

Learn: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Swallow-tailed_Kite/id

My take: http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/once-a-fan-this-week-not-so-much/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Ornate Bella Moth (Utetheisa ornatrix)

a diurnal moth.

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/leps/bella_moth.htm

Larval host: (Crotalaria spp.) which in my yard is the Florida native RABBITBELLS (C. rotundifolia)

Caterpillar: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/ornate-bella-moth-caterpillar-utetheisa-ornatrix/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My take: Whats in a day?

http://web.archive.org/web/20121006173112/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/what%e2%80%99s-in-a-day.html

Take 2: Half Hidden Beauty in the Garden
http://web.archive.org/web/20120702071508/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/half-hidden-beauty-in-the-garden.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red-waisted Florella Moth (Syngamia florella)

a diurnal flower moth.

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/8604

Larval host in my yard is likely (WOODLAND FALSE BUTTONWEED) Spermacoce remota

dorsal photo from 2013: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/red-waisted-florella-moth-syngamia-florella/

Larval hosts as listed in the HOSTS database are: Spermacoce brachysepala (apparently not found in Florida) and S. tetraquetra (PINELAND FALSE BUTTONWEED) a Florida native plant.

Additional Host noted at bugguide.net is
Spermacoce laevis (Rubiaceae) which is an excluded name for Spermacoce remota (WOODLAND FALSE BUTTONWEED) which occurs naturally at my place.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Scoliid Wasp (Scolia nobilitata)

In addition to pollination duties, they are parasitoids of scarab beetle larvae found in the soil. This guy must be older, his wings are a tad beaten up.

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/wasps/scoliid_wasps.htm

At dusk they congregate together and sleep: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/scoliid-wasp-scolia-nobilitata/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.), the state wildflower of Florida

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Metallic Green Bee (Agapostemon splendens)

A member of the Halictidae family. also referred to as sweat bees. This one is male.

“Adult halictids eat nectar, and collect nectar and pollen for the larvae. All halictids are mass provisioners, that is, the adults provision each cell with all the food (pollen and nectar) a larva will need until it emerges.” source: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in897

Learn to identify: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Agapostemon+splendens

Key: http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/HallG/Melitto/floridabees/agapostemon.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Common Ground-Dove (Columbina passerina) BABIES!

Had a couple of successful broods of ground doves this year. These two from May chose a Wax Myrtle and both successfully fledged. Last week I had one successfully fledge and a second baby killed in the nest by unknown predator (probably mean birds).

Adult’s Orange bill with black tip is distinctive: (photo): https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/common-ground-dove-columbina-passerina-nesting/

Learn: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Ground-Dove/id

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

My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20130926055337/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/ready-made-nest-common-ground-dove.html

grounddovenestWaxMyrtleMay2016

Mom or Dad keeping things nice and warm in the Wax Myrtle

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