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Monthly Archives: August 2018

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Short-winged Green Grasshopper (Dichromorpha viridis)

New to my buggy life list.  probably male.

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/ghopper/strid.pdf

Learn more: https://bugguide.net/node/view/9031

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

DONT THINK PEST, THINK BIRD FOOD! Grasshoppers are an important food source for birds especially fledglings who cannot eat seed.

If you maintain a balanced garden and dont use pesticides which can kill the beneficial insects, damage should be minimal to ornamentals.

Tachinid flies (Tachinidae family) are parasites of grasshoppers

Predators: Birds, lizards,mantids, spiders, and rodents eat grasshoppers. (source: http://web.archive.org/web/20150920015140/http://insected.arizona.edu:80/ghopperinfo.htm

Positive Impact on the Ecosystem:
As herbivores, grasshoppers link plants to the rest of the ecosystem. Frass (droppings) contribute to nutrient turnover by returning nutrients as fertilizer for the plants. They provide food for birds and other arthropods. (ibid.)

Learn more about grasshoppers in Florida: http://ufdcweb1.uflib.ufl.edu/UF00066916/00001/1x

Short-winged Green Grasshopper (Dichromorpha viridis) (male?)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Spinybacked Orbweaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis) with prey

This one was smaller than the diameter of a pencil eraser so I suspect male which are substantially smaller than the females.

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/G_cancriformis.htm

Learn more: https://bugguide.net/node/view/2026

Was hanging from Florida native plant: SWAMP BAY (Persea palustris)
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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Flea Beetle (Altica sp.)

Hard to get this genus down to species. There is one that is called a primose beetle, so it *may* be A.litigata although most I see are a vivid metallic blue and not this beautiful bronze color.

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/39785

Shown on Florida Native Plant: MEXICAN PRIMROSEWILLOW (Ludwigia octovalvis)

Feeds on ludwigia sp. keeping this prolific native in check.

May feed on crepe myrtle and if that concerns you the best method to control is to hand pick and squish. (http://www.pcmg-texas.org/images/trees/crape_myrtle_pest.pdf)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaf Beetle (Ophraella sp. likely conferta)

one of the Skeletonizing Leaf Beetles.

Larval host: Solidago spp.

Life Cycle: http://bugguide.net/node/view/650674/bgimage

Shown on Florida Native Plant: GOLDENROD (Solidago sp. likely fistulosa)

larval stage preyed upon by assassin bugs: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/spined-assassin-bug-sinea-sp-nymph/

Lifecycle at my place: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/leaf-beetle-ophraella-sp-likely-conferta/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Obscure Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca obscura)

DONT THINK PEST, THINK BIRD FOOD! Nymphs of grasshoppers are an important food source for birds especially fledglings who cannot eat seed.

If you maintain a balanced garden and dont use pesticides which can kill the beneficial insects, damage should be minimal to ornamentals.

Tachinid flies (Tachinidae family) are parasites of grasshoppers

Predators: Birds, lizards,mantids, spiders, and rodents eat grasshoppers. (source: http://web.archive.org/web/20150920015140/http://insected.arizona.edu:80/ghopperinfo.htm)

Positive Impact on the Ecosystem:
As herbivores, grasshoppers link plants to the rest of the ecosystem. Frass (droppings) contribute to nutrient turnover by returning nutrients as fertilizer for the plants. They provide food for birds and other arthropods. (ibid.)

Obscure grasshopper, Schistocerca obscura (Fabricius). This species belongs to a group of especially strong fliers called bird grasshoppers. Its taste for certain valuable ornamental plants such as hibiscus often brings it into conflict with humans. (Source: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in010)

Learn more about grasshoppers in Florida: http://ufdcweb1.uflib.ufl.edu/UF00066916/00001/1x

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Obscure Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca obscura)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabidosa rabida) with egg sac

Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabidosa rabida)

Female. Egg sac starts off white and gradually changes to brown before spiderlings emerge. This was a slate grey color so I guess about half way through the process.

Wolf Spiders drag their egg sacs behind them from the spinnerets (which are close to that spiders butt). They then carry the hatched spiderlings on their back.

Learn: https://animaldiversity.org/site/accounts/information/Rabidosa_rabida.html

Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabidosa rabida)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Green-striped Grasshopper (Chortophaga australior)

New to my buggy life list.

A bandwinged grasshopper. There are two color forms present in this species, green and brown.

Learn: https://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/ghopper/band.pdf

Synonym: Chortophaga viridifasciata australior (source: https://bugguide.net/node/view/666535)

DONT THINK PEST, THINK BIRD FOOD! Grasshoppers are an important food source for birds especially fledglings who cannot eat seed.

If you maintain a balanced garden and dont use pesticides which can kill the beneficial insects, damage should be minimal to ornamentals.

Tachinid flies (Tachinidae family) are parasites of grasshoppers

Predators: Birds, lizards,mantids, spiders, and rodents eat grasshoppers. (source: http://web.archive.org/web/20150920015140/http://insected.arizona.edu:80/ghopperinfo.htm

Positive Impact on the Ecosystem:
As herbivores, grasshoppers link plants to the rest of the ecosystem. Frass (droppings) contribute to nutrient turnover by returning nutrients as fertilizer for the plants. They provide food for birds and other arthropods. (ibid.)

Learn more about grasshoppers in Florida: http://ufdcweb1.uflib.ufl.edu/UF00066916/00001/1x

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