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Monthly Archives: October 2017

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly (Urbanus proteus)

Larval host: “Numerous members of the Pea family (Fabaceae) including Beaked Butterfly Pea (Centrosema virginianum), American Wisteria (Wisteria americana), Kudzu (Pueraria Montana), and ticktrefoils (Desmodium spp.)”

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=46

Shown on Florida Native Plant: DOCTORBUSH (Plumbago zeylanica)

My take: http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/dont-skip-the-long-tailed-skipper-butterfly/

Caterpillar from October 2013:

Longtail Skipper Butterfly Caterpillar

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Scentless Plant Bug (Harmostes serratus)

Scentless Plant Bug (Harmostes serratus)

Family: Rhopalidae

The Rhopalidae Family eats seeds of herbaceous plants, but some are arborea

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/665725

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

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

My winter visitors have returned!

Learn: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-bellied_Sapsucker/id

Shown on Florida Native Plant: LAUREL OAK; DIAMOND OAK (Quercus laurifolia)

My take: Solving Garden Mysteries
https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/solving-garden-mysteries/

From May 2014, a tell tale sign of a Sapsucker visit:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker wells in a Live Oak tree.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker wells in a Live Oak tree.

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Beautiful song from this state bird of Florida who mimics others. Big on berries, especially holly and winged sumac.

They stir up insects to feed their young during nesting season and I’ve had them nest many times in the native groundsel tree and wax myrtle (bayberry) shrubs. Territorial, they will battle each other and other birds including those much larger than themselves.

Learn: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/id

babies in nest: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/northern-mockingbird-baby-mimus-polyglottos/

fledge: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/northern-mockingbird-fledge-mimus-polyglottos/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: AMERICAN BEAUTYBERRY (Callicarpa americana)

My take: Mockingbird: Melodious but Mean

http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/mockingbird-melodious-but-mean/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Tropical Orb Weaver Spider (Eriophora ravilla) juvenile

Eriophora ravilla

This young spider was sitting in the center of the seedhead of Florida native Bidens alba. This should give you an idea of just how tiny a spider it was.  The bright green coloring which is an attribute of juveniles is what caught my eye.

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/spiders/tropical_orb_weaver.htm

Learn more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/24094

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Pearl Crescent Butterfly (Phyciodes tharos)

Phyciodes tharos

One of the Brush-Footed Butterflies.

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wings/completeButterflyInfo.asp?id=64

Learn more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/411

Larval host: Asters

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  MANYFLOWER MARSHPENNYWORT (Hydrocotyle umbellata) 

My take: http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/pearl-crescent-butterfly/

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