CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Very vocal predator. Diet: small mammals, lizards, snakes, and amphibians, occasionally birds
personal observation reveals they also dine on lubber grasshoppers and sphinx moth caterpillars
Shown on Florida Native Plant: LONGLEAF PINE TREE (Pinus palustris)
My take: Bird-napping, Murder and the Usual Suspects
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Fall Webworm Moth Caterpillar (Hyphantria cunea)
Feeds on multiple species of plants.
“control is seldom necessary because the damage is generally of aesthetic rather than economic importance.”
Fed on by wasps, tachinid flies
Shown on Florida Native Plant: BALD-CYPRESS (Taxodium distichum)
My take: The Worms Crawl In but Do They Swim?
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar (Hypercompe scribonia)
Despite the spines, it says this one doesn’t sting.
Multiple larval hosts. Seems this guy will eat just about anything.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: SAWTOOTH BLACKBERRY; PENNSYLVANIA BLACKBERRY (Rubus pensilvanicus)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaffooted Bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus)
May be a pest of fruit bearing trees and shrubs but has a place in the circle of life.
eggs feed parasitoids including important pollinators such as chalacid and other parasitic wasps (Gryon spp. and Ooencyrtus sp.)
egg predators include: fire ants and tree crickets.
adult predators include spiders.
Mating pair and Learn more: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/leaffooted-bug-leptoglossus-phyllopus-mating/
Shown on Florida Native Plant: BUSHY BLUESTEM (Andropogon sp.)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)
This spider does not construct a web capturing prey by grabbing it when it gets close. It will capture pest insects but also will be found with pollinators in its clutches which may upset some, but Ive seen it with stink bugs and leaffooted bugs and similar so it is quite beneficial in my book.
Learn more: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/green_lynx_spider.htm
and more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2032
Shown on Florida Native Plant: PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)
My take: Lynx Spiders: Its a boy and a girl and a boy etc.
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaf-Cutter Bee (Megachile sp.)
This was initially misidentified as a Cuckoo-leaf-cutter Bee (Coelioxys sp.). See the comment section below regarding the correction.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba