Monthly Archives: December 2018

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Small Frosted Wave Moth (Scopula lautaria)

Small Frosted Wave Moth (Scopula lautaria )

Came to patio light but I often have seen them during the day.  Moth is very tiny, about 1/2 inch wing to wing.

Larval hosts:  unknown

Family Geometridae (Geometrid Moths)
Subfamily Sterrhinae
Tribe Scopulini

From: January 2013 on Saw Palmetto

Learn more:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Pannaria Wave Moth (Leptostales pannaria)

New to my life list.  Came to patio light.

Family Geometridae – Geometrid Moths
Subfamily Sterrhinae
Tribe Scopulini

Larval Host: BLACKEYED PEA; COWPEA Vigna unguiculata (Source: Natural History Museum, London


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Land Planarian (Family Geoplanidae)

Correction 12/17/18: I initially misidentified this as Hammerhead Flatworm (Bipalium kewense). Jean-Lou Justine, an expert from France noted the following on Twitter:

“The new photograph is not a Bipalium… some Geoplanidae but not a Bipalium. The 2012 photograph is Bipalium vagum, not Bipalium kewense.”

a.k.a. Flatworm

This one was small, about 1-1/2 inches.

Pleased to see it munching away on what appears to be a Ghost Ant nest so beneficial in my book.


Learn more:

My take:

Photo from 2012 of Mollusc-eating Hammerhead Worm (Bipalium vagum), who is in the same taxonomic family:

From 2012, eating slugs, beetle larvae and millipedes

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Spotless Lady Beetle (Cycloneda sanguinea) larvae NEWLY HATCHED

This species of ladybug is native to Florida.
Diet: aphids. The larval stage may be even more beneficial than as adults since the larvae have voracious appetites. If you wash your aphids off your ornamental plants, you remove the food source for the beneficial so they will go elsewhere to reproduce. Be patient.

Keep in mind that Not all ladybugs without spots are native. Harmonia is an introduced species which can outcompete our natives, especially the species in the photo. (source:

If you buy ladybugs, check what species you are introducing. Many sold commercially are non-native species.


Shown on Florida Native Plant: PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

a.k.a. Blood-Red Ladybird Beetle

Photos of adult:

My take: There are Different Types of Ladybugs? (includes side by side photos to tell the exotic from our native species)

Walking away to find the aphids on nearby branches


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: White Peacock Butterfly (Anartia jatrophae)

member of the Brushfooted Butterflies Family (Nymphalidae)


Larval hosts: water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri), frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora)

Photo of adult dorsal view from July 2018:

Photo of egg from 2017:

My take: When a Peacock Isn’t a Bird

White Peacock Butterfly (Anartia jatrophae)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

Quite vocal, you can always hear them as they glean insects from tree trucks.

diet: mostly insects, but as can be seen here enjoys fruit as well. Nests in dead trees, so leave those SNAGS!


Shown on Florida Native Plant: AMERICAN ELDER; ELDERBERRY (Sambucus nigra L. subsp. canadensis)

My take:

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Syrphid Fly (Palpada sp. likely agrorum)

New species for me.  This one is considerably smaller than others I have seen in the genus.

They are Bee mimics.  Other common names: hover fly; flower fly

As a member of the Tribe Eristalini  the larvae live in organic rich water.



Shown on Florida Native Plant GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia), a.k.a. Saltbush