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Monthly Archives: March 2019

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaf Beetle (Oulema sp. possibly collaris)

Leaf Beetle (Oulema sp. possibly collaris)

New to my buggy life list.

Family Chrysomelidae – Leaf Beetles
Subfamily Criocerinae
Tribe Lemini

Larval host:  Commelinaceae, e.g., spiderwort – Tradescantia spp.    This one was directly above some introduced Dayflower which is in that same family. If it is munching that I would be thrilled.

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/196982

7 species in this genus listed on the Florida Beetle Checklist.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Leaf Beetle (Oulema sp. possibly collaris)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Large Crane Fly (Brachypremna dispellens)

This very large fella (gal?) was dancing among the Florida native Blackberry (Rubus sp.) brambles

Craneflies are beneficial decomposers. They have legs that go on for days.

Family Tipulidae – Large Crane Flies
Subfamily Tipulinae

Learn: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/insects/flies/craneflies/craneflies.htm

Key:  http://web.archive.org/web/20141221002551/http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/cranefly/idkeys.htm

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/mistaken-mosquito/

Large Crane Fly (Brachypremna dispellens)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Brown Stink Bug (Euschistus sp.)

When it comes to stink bugs, there are pests and beneficials. Spiders will eat either one. Shown is a pest variety.

“The eggs and nymphs of stink bugs often suffer high mortality from parasites, predators and pathogens.”

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/bean/brown_stink_bug.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: : Bidens alba

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/it-just-stinksor-does-it/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Red-banded Hairstreak Butterfly (Calycopis cecrops)

Eggs are laid on fallen leaves. If you are overly tidy in the garden, you wont attract this beauty.

Only Florida butterfly to utilize detritus (leaf litter) as larval food from wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), sumac (Rhus spp.) and the highly invasive and prohibited (in FL) Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).

Learn: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/wildflowers/butterfly/red-banded-hairstreak/

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE (Morella cerifera);

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Diamondback Moth (Plutella xylostella)

This guy (gal?) was hanging out in the shower which seems odd because they apparently have an aversion to rain and sprinklers.

Can damage cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower crops but in broccoli and cauliflower, the damage is indirect because they feed on leaves and not on flower head.

Rain plays a major roll in control.

Learn: http://web.entomology.cornell.edu/shelton/veg-insects-global/english/dbm.html

Diadegma insulare, a parasitoid wasp is an effective biological control for caterpillars, but if you use any pesticides it will kill the wasp growing in the larva and  defeat the effectiveness.

Diamondback Moth (Plutella xylostella)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Yellow-margined Leaf Beetle (Microtheca ochroloma)

New to my buggy life list.

native to South America. Pest of crops in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family. Can be pretty destructive if left unchecked.

Learn: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1049

Shown on Florida Native Plant: VIRGINIA PEPPERWEED (Lepidium virginicum)

preyed upon by spined soldier bugs

Yellow-margined Leaf Beetle (Microtheca ochroloma)

 

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Antlion (likely Myrmeleon sp.)

Order Neuroptera – Antlions, Owlflies, Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies
Suborder Myrmeleontiformia – Antlions and Owlflies
Family Myrmeleontidae

Predacious in larval stage and some species in adult stage.

Antlions stay in larval stage from 1 to 3 years. This stage is commonly called doodle bugs. Larvae dig a shallow cone-shaped pit in sand and wait at the bottom for an ant or other insect to slip on the loose sand and fall in.

Adults eat nectar, pollen and some adult species feed on caterpillars and aphids. These weak flyers are usually nocturnal.

General learning link:  https://www.antlionpit.com/antlions.html

Checklist and Bibliography of the Megaloptera and Neuroptera of Florida: http://www.fsca-dpi.org/Neuroptera/Neuroptera_of_Florida.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: CORAL HONEYSUCKLE (Lonicera sempervirens)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/garden-pests-invite-the-myrmeleontiformias/

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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/

pupal cases are preyed upon by Lady Beetle larva:

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: Sigil Lady Beetle (Hyperaspis connectens)

New to my buggy life list. This MINISCULE ladybug was barely visible to the eye as it is the size of a pin head, maybe 2-3 mm

Diet: Predatory Species – Feeding on Scale Insects

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

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

Sigil Lady Beetle (Hyperaspis connectens)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Citrine Forktail Damselfly (Ischnura hastata)

smallest damselfly in North America. Predatory in both larval and adult stages.  This male landed on a blade of grass.

Adult Diet: Tiny flying insects

Learn: http://www.odonatacentral.org/index.php/FieldGuideAction.get/id/43072

Learn more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/597

My take:
Ladies of the Day
http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/ladies-of-the-day/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Seed Bug (Subfamily Orsillinae)

Even true bugs are pollinators.

Miniscule. Not sure I’d ever be able to see enough detail to get this down to genus or species.

Family Lygaeidae – Seed Bugs
Subfamily Orsillinae

Key and additional info: Lygaeidae of Florida (Hemiptera Heteroptera) http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00000094/00001/46j

Learn:  https://bugguide.net/node/view/1515730

Shown on Florida Native Plant: OAKLEAF FLEABANE (Erigeron quercifolius)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)

These spiders do not construct a web capturing prey by grabbing it when it gets close. It will capture pest insects but also will be found with pollinators in its clutches which may upset some, but Ive seen it with stink bugs and leaffooted bugs and similar so it is quite beneficial in my book.

Learn: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-48_green_lynx_spider.htm

Learn more: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/green_lynx_spider.htm

and more: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2032

Shown on Florida Native Plant: TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/and-in-this-corneractive-arachnids/

My take 2: Lynx Spiders: Its a boy and a girl and a boy etc.
http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/lynx-spiders-its-boy-and-girl-and-boy.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Crab Spider (Thomisidae family)

This tiny speck of a spider is perplexing to get a positive identification.

I first figured it was just one of the Mecaphesa spp. but the coloring seemed different.

So, I submitted to Bugguide hoping it *may* be Synema viridans but without having the spiders “in hand”, even experts can’t decide.  Other possibilities include Diaea sp.,

https://bugguide.net/node/view/1639205

Learn to identify some crab spiders: http://bugguide.net/node/view/38099

Shown on Florida Native Plant: : TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Black Racer Snake (Coluber constrictor priapus)

NON-VENOMOUS.

Diet: frogs, lizards, snakes, rodents, birds, eggs

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-snakes/list/coluber-constrictor-priapus/

My take: World Snake Day…And Me Without My Pungi* https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/world-snake-dayand-me-without-my-pungi/

Take 2: A Race to the End
https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/a-race-to-the-end/

Take 3: The Water System as Wildlife Habitat
http://web.archive.org/web/20140207164833/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/the-water-system-as-habitat.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth (Darapsa myron)

Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth (Darapsa myron)

New to my buggy life list. My encounter was submitted and accepted to add this species to the Osceola county Florida checklist at butterfliesandmoths.org
https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sighting_details/1200487

Family Sphingidae – Sphinx Moths
Subfamily Macroglossinae
Tribe Macroglossini

Learn: https://www.sphingidae.us/darapsa-myron.html

Larval hosts: Grape (Vitis spp.), and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) (source: The Natural History Museum (London) HOSTS a Database of the World’s Lepidopteran Hostplants)
Larvae feed on leaves of peppervine (Ampelopsis spp.), grape, and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). (source: https://bugguide.net/node/view/3568)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Tumbling flower beetle (Mordella sp.)

Tumbling flower beetle (Mordella sp.)

Tiny. about 1/4 inch.

“Larvae are believed to eat plant material in decaying wood, etc. Some are leaf and stem miners. Some are predaceous. Adults visit flowers.”

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/144

Learn more: https://texasinsects.tamu.edu/tumbling-flower-beetle/

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1987-02-14/business/0110070069_1_flower-beetle-beetle-species-tumbling-flower

9 species documented in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods (source: http://www.fsca-dpi.org/Coleoptera/Mike/mordell.htm)

Learn host associations for this genus: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4009273 pages 361-368 (account needed to access all pages, available for free)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: : TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.)

Tumbling flower beetle (Mordella sp.)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)

Secretive, colorful bird. This male spent quite a bit of time noshing on the Spanish needle seeds. I took the photo through the kitchen window since any attempt to open the door for a clearer shot would have resulted in the bird flying off.

They are primarily seed eaters, except during breeding season. Migratory in Central Florida.

Learn: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Painted_Bunting/id

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens Alba

My take: http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/lousy-photo-fleeting-encounter.html

Take II:  https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/the-bunting-and-the-bidens/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Scoliid Wasp  (Dielis plumipes)

syn. Campsomeris plumipes

I keep a coffee container next to the compost container to collect rainwater.  I reached down this past week to do that and noticed this beautiful wasp swimming and unable to get out.  I gently poured the water off and rescued this pollinator. After a brief time of wing drying he flew off.

In February 2019 Buguide.net changed this to Dielis plumipes, but I can’t find any written documentation confirming the genus/species change.

beneficial: parasitic on Scarab Beetle larvae.

Learn: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/wasps/scoliid_wasps.htm

Saved from drowning!

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