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Monthly Archives: November 2018

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Chalcid Wasp (Conura sp.)

Parasitic.

Family Chalcididae – Chalcidid Wasps
Subfamily Chalcidinae

Primary hosts are beetles and flies, but it also uses butterflies and moths.  Click here for list of known prey, predators and plant associates

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Saw a big splash in my pond yesterday and just saw the tail which made me think it was pretty big. I tried all afternoon to capture a photo, but it seemed to know I was coming and dove before I could get a photo, possibly because i had on a light color shirt.

This morning I put on a dark colored shirt, snuck up, hiding among the shrubs, grasses and trees and got my photo.  Thankfully, not nearly as big as I thought so unlikely to be a threat to me since I am aware of it and keep alert and away from the edge of the pond.  Just hanging out on the tussock

(s)he is a reasonable size, less than 3 foot.

Learn: http://myfwc.com/media/152524/alligator-brochure.pdf

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/big-guns-in-the-wildlife-garden/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Ichneumon Wasp (Anomalon sp.)

Apparently these wasps are difficult to identify down to species and since they are miniscule I can understand why.  A. ejuncidum is the only species listed by The University of Florida’s Natural Area Teaching Laboratory

Parasites of the larva of Coleoptera (beetles) and possibly Lepidoptera (butterfly/moth)

Learn: http://natl.ifas.ufl.edu/biota/ichneumon_wasps.php

Learn more: https://bugguide.net/node/view/348341

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/balance-in-the-garden-ichneumon-parasitic-wasp/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Chalcid Wasp (Brachymeria flavipes)

New to my buggy life list.

Family Chalcididae – Chalcidid Wasps
Subfamily Chalcidinae

“Chalcidids are predominantly solitary, primary endoparasitoids of Lepidoptera and Diptera…”

Learn: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/data/chalcidoids/chalcididae.html

Taxon record

32 listed Lepidoptera hosts including at least 3 found in my garden:

Southern Flannel Moth Caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis)
Pale-edged Selenisa Moth Caterpillar (Selenisa sueroides)
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio cresphontes)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

https://bugguide.net/node/view/1501631

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Longlegged Fly (Condylostylus mundus)

These members of diptera are very tiny but you can’t miss the bright blue iridescent color of this male.

Beneficial.  “Long-legged flies are predators and are therefore considered beneficial to have around for pest control. They have been known to feed on a rather wide variety of other small arthropods, including other flies, thrips, aphids, mites, springtails, leafhoppers, whiteflies, beetle larvae, and even termites!” (source: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/ent-69)

“The prey species are mostly Diptera, and more than half belong to the families Chironomidae and Culicidae [midges and mosquitoes]. However, various Condylostylus species (Diptera: Dolichopodidae) have been recorded to prey on dark-winged fungus gnats, leaf-miner flies, aphids, leafhoppers, thrips, whiteflies, and mites.” (source: http://www.bioone.org/doi/10.1653/024.100.0243)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Ichneumon Wasp (Subfamily Campopleginae)

These wasps are difficult to identify down to species. Several species in subfamily listed by The University of Florida’s Natural Area Teaching Laboratory (FNATL) under the synonym subfamily Porizontinae.

They are Endoparasitoids. which make cocoons. This one is female based on identification of my bugguide submission.

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/21674

There is a lookalike posted on bugguide which states possibly Casinaria sp. and that genus uses large moth larvae such as the saddleback caterpillar as hosts according to FNATL above.

Shown on the dead pine needle of Florida Native Plant: LONGLEAF PINE TREE (Pinus palustris) which were hanging from branches of a live oak tree.

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/balance-in-the-garden-ichneumon-parasitic-wasp/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Velvet Ant aka Cow Killer {Wasp} (Dasymutilla occidentalis)

Velvet Ants Family (Mutillidae) This one is female.

Not an ant but a wasp. Painful sting from female, thus the common name. Females do not have wings so don’t fly. Males do have wings, but don’t sting.

Predator, but not of cows.

Learn: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in717

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/the-cow-killer-and-other-misnomers/

Velvet Ant aka Cow Killer {Wasp} (Dasymutilla occidentalis) female

female

Male from 2012:

Male Velvet Ant aka Cow Killer {Wasp} (Dasymutilla occidentalis)

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