Monthly Archives: April 2019

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

I saw a glimpse of this guy nectaring at my my Florida Native CORAL HONEYSUCKLE (Lonicera sempervirens). Before I could get the camera turned on he flew high into the tree.

To my untrained eye something made me think that it didn’t really look like a ruby-throat which is the only regularly occurring hummingbird listed for Central Florida.  I checked in with my friends from Kissimmee Valley Audubon and they pointed out the bill length, dark head of the male, amount of white and the shape of the tail that are characteristics of the Ruby-Throated.  It may be that most of my prior encounters were seeing females.


Shown on Florida Native Plant: LONGLEAF PINE TREE (Pinus palustris)

closeup photos from encounters in prior years:



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Little Yellow Butterfly (Pyrisitia lisa)

aka Little Sulphur butterfly. synonym Eurema lisa


Learn more:


Larval host: Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), sensitive pea (Chamaecrista nictitans) synonym Cassia spp.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: BLACKBERRY (Rubus sp.)

My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Colorful Foliage Ground Beetle (Lebia viridis)

This pretty blue beetle is relatively small. Beneficial. Size in photo is deceiving (macros shot)

Family Carabidae – Ground Beetles
Subfamily Harpalinae
Supertribe Harpalitae
Tribe Lebiini
Subtribe Lebiina

genus Predatory on small insects; some parasitize leaf beetle larvae (

adults in this genus feed on eggs and early instar larvae of prey

More on predatory behavior: (pg 16)

Adults minor pollination


florida species in this genus

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

My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Spined Assassin Bug (Sinea sp. possibly diadema)

Predaceous on pest insects



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

Nymph with prey:

My take: Killer in Our Midst: The Assassin Bug

Take 2: Hit Men in the Native Plant Garden


Spined Assassin Bug (Sinea sp. possibly diadema)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus)

Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus)

formerly Bufo quercicus, this is the smallest North American toad getting be about 1.5 inch max.

Diet: Ants, beetles, centipedes, spiders, and other invertebrates.

Unlike many toads who tend to be more nocturnal, you’ll see these guys quite often during the daylight.

This one was hiding in the leaf litter in a “forested” area that is a combo of swamp bay, wax myrtle, dahoon covered by climbing virginia creeper and a young live oak.

Learn more:

Spatial and temporal ecology of oak toads (Bufo quercicus) on a Florida landscape:



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Pearl Crescent Butterfly (Phyciodes tharos) Pair

One of the Brush-Footed Butterflies.


Learn more:

Larval host: Asters

Shown resting on the dried debris from Florida Native Plant: BUSHY BLUESTEM GRASS (Andropogon sp. likely glomeratus)

My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Lace Bug (Corythucha sp. likely marmorata)

New to my buggy life list. Miniscule true bug feeds on leaves.  I’m pretty confident on the species since it has been documented on Goldenrod

Family: Tingidae

hosts: several species of Asteraceae

Corythucha marmorata is commonly called the Chrysanthemum Lace Bug as it has shown to be damaging to that ornamental.


Learn more:

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