CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Rice Bug (Stenocoris sp.)
A true bug in the Broad-headed Bugs Family (Alydidae)
member of subfamily Micrelytrinae which apparently dines mainly on grasses
Download key: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/insectamundi/984
Superfamily Coreoidea – Leatherbugs
Shown on Florida Native Plant BLUESTEM GRASS (Andropogon sp.)
Rice Bug (Stenocoris sp.)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Syrphid Fly (Meromacrus acutus)
Also known as Hover flies, flower flies or drone flies, they are bee/wasp mimics who pollinate. Some syrphid larva prey on aphids while this particular species is one of the aquatic “rat-tailed maggots” that grow by eating detritus. It seems to be a good mimic of a yellowjacket, similar in size.
Lifecycle photos: http://bugguide.net/node/view/166995
Shown on Florida Native Plant GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia), a.k.a. Saltbush
Syrphid Fly (Meromacrus acutus)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Striped Mud Turtle (Kinosternon bauri)
Striped Mud Turtle (Kinosternon baurii)
Jorja found this one under the live oak tree. I’ve had them dig and nest in the past but despite protecting and monitoring locations, haven’t seen any eggs hatch. These are a pretty shy bunch. They shut themselves into the shell until you go away.
Learn more: http://srelherp.uga.edu/turtles/kinbau.htm
Shown under Florida Native Plant: LIVE OAK (Quercus virginiana)
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/10/26/in-the-garden-three-stripes-and-youre-out/
Striped Mud Turtle (Kinosternon bauri)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio glaucus)
Larval hosts: Wild cherry (Prunus serotina), sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana), white ash (Fraxinus americana)
Shown on Florida Native Plant: DOCTORBUSH (Plumbago zeylanica)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio glaucus)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly Chrysalis (Papilio polyxenes)
Spotted on a rush stem in the culvert. Surrounded by the larval host, water cowbane.
Larval host: carrot family (Apiaceae) including parsley (Petroselinium crispum), dill (Anthum graveolens), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), mock bishop’s weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)
In my yard they use Florida Native Plant WATER COWBANE (Tiedemannia filiformis).
Despite having mock bishops weed in my yard, I have never seen this species use it.
There are color variations in adults.
Learn more: http://butterfliesofamerica.com/t/Papilio_polyxenes_a.htm
Photos of most phases from egg to adult: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/eastern-black-swallowtail-butterfly-caterpillar-papilio-polyxenes/
Eastern Black Swallowtail Chrysalis (Papilio polyxenes)
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/moving-day-black-swallowtail-butterfly/