Archive

Monthly Archives: November 2016

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)

mantidastersnov2016a

Praying mantids are predatory.

Learn: http://www.theprayingmantis.org/

Shown on Florida Native ASTER (Symphyotrichum spp.)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/praying-or-preying-mantis-or-mantids/

Take two: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/praying-and-pacing/

mantidastersnov2016

mantidcloseasternov2016

Egg case (2013)

mantideggcasesept2013

mantideggcasesept2013

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar (Estigmene acrea)

saltmarshcaterpillarspiderwortnov2016Native 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

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/3242

Learn more: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/saltmarsh_caterpillar.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: BLUEJACKET; OHIO SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia ohiensis)

I think it has the cutest face.

I think it has the cutest face.

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Groundsel Plume Moth (Hellinsia balanotes)

plumemothnov2016

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)

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/57435

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Polka-dot Wasp Moth (Syntomeida epilais)

polkadotwaspmothsaltbushnov2016
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.

Learn: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Syntomeida-epilais

Learn more: http://beautifulnativeplants.blogspot.com/2016/02/an-exception-to-rules.html

Above Shown on nectaring on Florida Native Plant: GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia)

From 2010 on Bidens alba

From 2010 on Bidens alba

Caterpillars on Exotic Oleander (2010)

Caterpillars on Exotic Oleander (2010)

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Common Oblique Syrphid Fly (Allograpta sp. likely obliqua)

syrphidflysaltbushnov2016

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.

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/hover_fly.htm

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
http://web.archive.org/web/20121024114809/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/dont-swat-that-fly.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Hairy Maggot Blow Fly (Chrysomya sp.)

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

larvae feed on carrion
Adults pollinate
Shown on Florida Native Plant: MUSCADINE GRAPE (Vitis rotundifolia)
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