CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)
Praying mantids are predatory.
Shown on Florida Native ASTER (Symphyotrichum spp.)
Egg case (2013)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar (Estigmene acrea)
Native hosts include Dogfennel and other potentially aggressive species.
Serves as a host for other species such as tachinid flies and Hymenopterans (Bees, Wasps and Sawflies) which parasitized the eggs/larvae.
Larvae feed on a variety of plants including “cash crops”, so not a favorite with farmers.
This is an early instar.
Coloring can be highly variable: http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=8131
Shown on Florida Native Plant: BLUEJACKET; OHIO SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia ohiensis)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Groundsel Plume Moth (Hellinsia balanotes)
a.k.a groundsel stemboring moth; Baccharis Borer Plume Moth
Large by plume moth standards. Larvae bore into stems.
Introduced into Australia to control B. halimifolia which is an invasive species on that continent.
My encounter was submitted and accepted to add this species to the Osceola county Florida checklist at butterfliesandmoths.org http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sighting_details/1109044
larval hosts: Groundsel Bush (Baccharis halimifolia), Great-Plains Falsewillow (Baccharis neglecta), Saltwater Falsewillow (Baccharis angustifolia)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Polka-dot Wasp Moth (Syntomeida epilais)
I wasn’t close enough to get a clear shot. See below for one from 2010
Does not sting. Wasp mimic. Adults pollinate. Flies during the day
Larval hosts: Florida native: DEVIL’S POTATO; RUBBERVINE (Echites umbellatus) (limited to coast of southern Florida); Exotic: Oleander which has expanded it range throughout the U.S.
Above Shown on nectaring on Florida Native Plant: GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Common Oblique Syrphid Fly (Allograpta sp. likely obliqua)
Also commonly called hover fly or flower fly. Adults pollinate
larvae are important predators, feeding primarily on aphids. “When larval populations are high they may reduce aphid populations by 70 to 100%”
In turn the larvae is a food source for several species of wasps.
How to distinguish species: http://bugguide.net/node/view/767641
Shown on Florida Native Plant: GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia)
My take: Don’t Swat that Fly
Calliphoridae Family (blowflies) My photo didn’t give a clear enough view of the characteristics that would confirm species. Introduced species. Potential to cause disease in livestock. Larval Stage provides significant Benefits in Forensic Medicine