CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Sheetweb Spider (Florinda coccinea)
This tiny red spider is a member of the Sheetweb Spiders family (Linyphiinae). Easily overlooked in the garden, the best time to see them is early morning when the dew forms on their grass-based webs and glistens in the sun. Food for birds. predator to other insects.
Learn more: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/spiders/sheet/sheet.htm#fcoccinea
Shown on Florida Native Plant: TURKEY TANGLE FOGFRUIT; CAPEWEED (Phyla nodiflora)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)
One of the larger aquatic frogs.
Diet: insects, crayfish, other aquatic invertebrates
My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20140713174525/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/a-leopard-is-loose-in-my-garden.html
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Black Stink Bug (Proxys punctulatus)
“Although the black stink bug is a phytophagous species, it can also be predaceous, and has been found attacking insect larvae in cotton.” ( polyphagous: Feeding on many different kinds of food)
Shown on Florida Native Plant: BLUEJACKET; OHIO SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia ohiensis)
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/it-just-stinksor-does-it/
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Clouded Crimson Moth Caterpillar (Schinia gaurae)
looks like an anorexic Monarch caterpillar. This one was tiny….very early instar.
Larval host: SOUTHERN BEEBLOSSOM (Oenothera simulans)
Shown on Florida Native Plant: SOUTHERN BEEBLOSSOM (Oenothera simulans) (synonym: Gaura angustifolia), the larval host.
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/just-in-time-for-national-moth-week-2014/
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Blue Dasher Dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis)
Dragonflies are predatory in both adult and larval stages. Leave some taller, dry plant debris or thin dead branches as perches.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: CHICKASAW PLUM (Prunus angustifolia)
Diet: insects, aquatic larvae such as mosquitoes
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Florida Viceroy Butterfly (Limenitis archippus floridensis)
Adult is a mimic of the milkweed butterflies (Monarch and Queen).
subspecies info: http://bugguide.net/node/view/548
Larval host: Larvae feed mainly on leaves of willow (Salix) and poplar and cottonwood (Populus); other hosts include apple (Malus) and cherry (Prunus) (source: bugguide.net)
Adults feed on: Early in the season when few flowers are available Viceroys feed on aphid honeydew, carrion, dung, and decaying fungi. Later generations feed more often at flowers, favoring composites including aster, goldenrod, joe-pye weed, shepherds needle, and Canada thistle (SOURCE: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Limenitis-archippus)
Shown on Florida Native Plant: SWAMP BAY (Persea palustris)
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/viceroy-butterfly-puts-up-a-smokescreen/